Jonathan Junior – Turtle ambassador

Because he believes he CAN make a difference. Because he has a huge heart and a soft spot for turtles everywhere. Because he wants to see turtles flourish. Jonathan Junior is a turtle ambassador. While we visited Turtle Island Park, Grandpa and grandma kept saying how much Jonathan would enjoy this experience. One way to share it with you is to adopt the nest we found that night in your name. With Jonathan’s symbolic adoption he contributed to turtle conservation efforts, and raised awareness about this important cause. Thank you, Jonathan! When the turtles hatch (approximately mid-May) the rangers at the park will send you a picture of the babies and another picture of them running into the water!

Marine turtles are a key species in the marine ecosystem and adequate nesting sites are a rarity due to man-made threats. The seven species of sea turtles we have today have been around for over 110 million years. For some, it is surprising to hear that six of those seven sea turtle species are endangered. It is no wonder that sea turtle conservation has become a worldwide phenomenon. As with all living things, sea turtles play an important role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. Like regular lawn mowing, sea turtles help to keep grass beds healthy with their constant grazing. Grass beds need to be cut short in order for them to continue expanding across the ocean floor. Seagrass beds act as breeding grounds for many species of underwater creatures. If sea turtles go extinct, seagrass beds will go abandoned, while a number of fish and crustaceans are left with no place to breed, causing a decline in marine life.

In addition, sea turtles provide beaches and dunes with necessary nutrients which they would otherwise not be able to get. Therefore, the little vegetation which grows on dunes are grown because of the nutrients provided by sea turtles. Every year, sea turtles lay hundreds of eggs per nest, and about three to seven nests per season. Not all of the eggs will hatch, and those that don’t provide an excellent source of nutrients which allow stronger vegetation to grow on the dunes. This vegetation keeps the beach sand in place to protect it from erosion. Therefore, sea turtle conservation is important for the marine and beach/dune ecosystems.

Marine turtle populations around the globe are threatened with extinction, having been heavily over-harvested and having their habitat increasingly destroyed by mankind. Nowadays, critical measures are urgently needed to safeguard the few remaining turtle nesting, feeding and breeding sites on beaches and at sea; as well as their migratory pathways.