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Effect of Tourism on Sea Turtles

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Introduction

Threats to Marine Turtle Survival The Problems, Risks to Turtles and Examples Today the seven species of marine turtle that swim our oceans are all included on the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species [1]. Before human intervention, it was thought that only one in one thousand turtle eggs actually survived to become adults. With human as well as natural threats, it is estimated to be up to one in ten thousand [2]. Figure one clearly illustrates how the number of leatherback turtles nesting has fallen in Playa Grande and Ventanas, popular tourist destinations. There has been 95% decrease in the number of female leatherbacks between 1988 and 2002 and there are multiple reasons that have contributed to such a steep fall. This report will concentrate on tourism related threats. Unfortunately human threats now add to threats posed by nature and if it was not difficult enough to survive before, turtles now have to contend with problems we create. Marine turtles breathe with lungs. This forces them to surface in order to inhale air. The heart (see figure 2) consists of two atriums but one ventricle and results in an incomplete double circulatory system. ...read more.

Middle

After a collective effort by conservationists, this popular tourist resort was saved from development (full story in Appendix B on page 6). In the day, the beach is open to public and a hugely used resort with up to 5000 visitors a day in peak season [9]. There are distinguished nesting zones, where digging, lying and using umbrellas are forbidden. There is a one mile exclusion zone for speedboats and jet skis. At night, helpers put metal cages (see figure 3) over the nests to prevent dogs and foxes digging them up. The minimal tourist facilities are made from wood and roofs from reeds. Waste is removed daily but there are recycling bins on either side of the beach. Officials patrol 24 hours a day, keeping everything in order [10]. This project has greatly benefited turtle populations because a monitoring programme taken on by university students' shows that the population is stabilising and the number of nests are increasing slightly. If similar solutions are implemented in more places across the globe, then turtle numbers will be restored at a faster rate. Implications Social International tourism almost always has a negative impact on the culture of the tourism dependent countries (if it is considerably different to other countries). ...read more.

Conclusion

Level off any sandcastles and fill in any holes that have been dug. Through these simple actions, you might make the difference between life and death for a turtle. Appendix B How Iztuzu Beach was Saved from Development The story of how a handful of Turkish and European conservationists, galvanized by English 'Turtle Lady' June Haimoff, saved Iztuzu from development is remarkable. For several summers Haimoff had lived in a wooden hut on the beach, alongside families from the town, and had watched the huge females digging their nests (even saving one from a knife-wielding local man who wanted its shell for a cradle) and had rescued hatchlings that were disorientated by the artificial lights and noise from the settlement. Eventually the huts were dismantled but, unknown to the conservationists, permission was given for the much more damaging holiday complex instead. When bulldozers arrived on the beach Haimoff sent a frantic telegram to the WWF. Prince Philip, as president of the WWF, asked the Turkish Prime Minister to delay the project, to allow an environmental impact study to be carried out. This was done, the Prime Minister acted, and in the summer of 1988 the beach, along with the area's red pine and sweet gum forests and marshlands, was given SPA (Special Environmental Protection Area) status and the building project cancelled. ...read more.

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