World sea turtle day is a celebration dedicated to the world's unique and fascinating creatures. The day not only symbolises the keystone role that these animals play in our ecosystem but also highlights the threats and endangerment they suffer because of many human induced pressures on their habitats.

Sea turtles are very important for maintaining the ocean's overall health by keeping the jellyfish numbers in check as well as scraping off algal mass that may accumulate on the coral reefs (as they need sufficient sunlight to properly function). Furthermore, when coming offshore to lay eggs, sea turtles also modify the sand dunes we see on our beaches. 

One of many interesting facts that marine biologists have determined over the years about these species is that sex of their hatchlings is determined by the temperature of the sand they are covered with. The phenomenon is literally known as Temperature-dependent sex determination or TSD in short. Here if the sand is warm and egg gets incubated at temperature above 31 degree Celsius the hatchling will be female and if the egg gets incubated at temperature below 27.7 degrees Celsius the hatchling is male. One of the biggest threat sea turtles face today is the global warming that is causing the skewness in the male to female sea turtle hatchling ratios. Some reports have suggested that in green turtle populations there has been observed an 80% female to 20 % male ratio in recent years.

As the hatchlings are born they are gravitated towards the sea by following light from moon to navigate. Artificial man made sources of light can confuse the hatchlings and distrupt their sense of direction. Not only that but such brightness also discourages the female turtle to come and lay the eggs on the shore in the first play.

Other kinds of endangerment the sea turtles face today mainly originates from the anthropogenic pollution. Plastic debris kills about 1000 turtles per year. Most of the times they get entangled in the trash and since they are physically unable to retract back into the shell, get killed. Other times they die of engulfing the plastic by mistaking them for their food such as jellyfish. 

What can we do? Start with your own house, reducing the debris can go a long way in saving these incredible animals. Not only that but cleaning up the beach is also a very good initiative. Second most important thing to remember is to keep the beach quiet and dark and if not possible then always build the navigating/artificial lights facing away from the beach. Lastly, reduce your overall carbon footprint so that the results will have a lasting impact.

Keywords: Oceans, World Sea Turtle Day, Sea Turtle

About The Author: Ifrah Malik is a marine science student, and a science and conservation enthusiast. She likes to write about the climate crisis faced today and aims to spread & educate through her words. She often spreads the same message on her own blog resilient earth by writing poetry and blogs. Her philosophy is that the climate crisis we are seeing today are a trailer for what's to come, so we must act now by doing, saying and writing. But we must do something !