Sea turtles may be edging back from the brink of extinction

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Writing for Earth Matters (Mother Nature Network) Christian Cotroneo brings us some good news in the midst of tragedy and sadness facing the multiple losses of human/animal life and vegetation following the two hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding around the world, and more. He quotes an article from Science Advances, “Global sea turtle conservation successes,” to deliver a glimmer of hope. But it is important to remember that “Among the seven species of sea turtles in the world, only one isn’t listed as endangered. The chief culprits? Habitat loss, plastics in the ocean, commercial fishing nets and, yes, climate change.”

Giant sea turtles may live to photobomb another day. In fact, their numbers, according to a study published this week in Science Advances, look to be bucking a decades-long downward trend. For the analysis, researchers at Aristotle University in Greece looked at large turtles in 60 regions around the world — and found a surprising surge in their numbers.

The study credited the upswing to effective measures for protecting eggs and nesting females, as well as fewer turtles being caught in fishing nets. “There’s a positive sign at the end of the story,” lead author Antonios Mazaris told SFGate. “We should be more optimistic about our efforts in society.”

While it’s a positive development for the beleaguered animals, they’re hardly out of hot water. Among the seven species of sea turtles in the world, only one isn’t listed as endangered. The chief culprits? Habitat loss, plastics in the ocean, commercial fishing nets and, yes, climate change.

Perhaps their comeback is a chubby middle finger to the naysayers — the kind of in-your-face sea turtles are famed for.

Take that, sixth mass extinction.

And go ahead, keep taking pictures. Because, for some reason or other, these giants — some can weigh more than 1,000 pounds — have a special flair for surprising us.

Especially when we’re trying to take a picture.

For scientific article, see http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/9/e1600730

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