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Green Turtles UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • Rising global temperatures could lead to an increase in the nesting range of green turtles in the Mediterranean Sea.

  • As per a study in Scientific Reports. 

  • Under the worst-case climate scenario, the nesting range could increase by over 60% points, spreading west from the current area to include much of the North African, Italian, and Greek coastlines.

Green turtles

  • Green turtles are magnificent creatures with a long evolutionary history

Here are some key facts about them:

Classification and Distribution:

  • Scientific name: Chelonia mydas

  • Common name: Green turtle, black (sea) turtle, Pacific green turtle

  • Family: Cheloniidae

  • Distribution: Found worldwide primarily in subtropical and temperate regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and in the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Habitat: Coastal areas and open ocean waters.

  • Physical Characteristics:

  • Size: Adults can reach up to 5 feet (1.52 meters) in length and weigh between 240 and 420 pounds (110 - 190 kg).

  • Color: Green turtles have a brown or olive-colored shell with a yellow underside. Their name comes from the green color of the fat underneath their shell.

  • Diet: Herbivores, primarily feeding on seagrasses, algae, and other marine plants.

Behavior and Life Cycle:

  • Migration: Green turtles are long-distance migrators, traveling thousands of miles between feeding grounds and nesting beaches.

  • Nesting: Females lay their eggs on sandy beaches at night. They return to the same beach to lay eggs every 2-4 years.

  • Hatchlings: Hatchlings are born with flippers and instinctively swim towards the ocean.

  • Lifespan: Green turtles can live for over 80 years.

Threats and Conservation:

  • Endangered Species: Green turtles are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List. They face threats from habitat loss, pollution, climate change, and overexploitation.

  • Conservation Efforts: Many organizations are working to protect green turtles, including through habitat protection, captive breeding programs, and public education campaigns.


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