Sea turtles

Guardians of the Shore: The Life of Marine Turtles at Apo Reef

On the pristine shores of Apo Reef, the timeless ritual of marine turtles unfolds. Here, the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) come to nest, with their emergences and tracks meticulously recorded by the dedicated Park Rangers. The turtles’ presence is an indicator of the health of marine ecosystems, beach erosion stabilizers, and a balanced food web.

Nesting emergence occurs when turtles successfully deposit their eggs, whereas false crawls are unsuccessful efforts, frequently caused by disruptions or ecological impediments. Green sea turtles can grow up to 150 cm long and weigh up to 300 kg. These herbivorous giants are easily identified by their heart-shaped shells and striking patterns.

For the past few years, the Park Rangers have been recording marine turtle emergence daily. This data is crucial for conservation, providing insights into nesting behaviors and highlighting the need to protect these endangered species. The green sea turtle is listed as Endangered, and the hawksbill turtle is Critically Endangered, according to the IUCN Red List.

Turtles face numerous threats, including habitat loss and human disturbances. False crawls often indicate these challenges. Despite this, witnessing hatchlings reach the sea symbolizes hope and resilience. Each new generation of turtles represents a victory against the odds.

The work of the Park Rangers of the Apo Reef Natural Park underscores the importance of conservation. By protecting nesting grounds and minimizing human and environmental impact, we can help ensure that marine turtles continue to thrive. Their dedication inspires us to preserve the delicate beauty of our marine ecosystems for future generations.

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