ANIMALS THAT NEED OUR HELP: Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Lepidochelys olivacea

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Piro Beach- Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica Photo Credit to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Piro Beach – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Photo Credit to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Cheloniidae
Genus: Lepidochelys
Species: L. olivacea

Picture1

The IUCN Red List has this species as Vulnerable. This means it has a high risk of becoming extinct in the wild.

Overview

An adult Olive Ridley Sea Turtle weighs around 100 pounds and is 22-31 inches long, while hatchlings weigh less than 1 ounce and are on average 1.5 inches long (NOAA, 2014). They spend most of their time at sea, except during their annual migration back to their coastal breeding grounds. According to NOAA, they reach sexual maturity at around 15 years old and lay clutches of about 100 eggs. These eggs take about 2 months to incubate. Olive Ridley Turtles are omnivorous, feeding mainly on algae, lobster, crabs, tunicates, mollusks, shrimp, and fish (NOAA, 2014).

Distribution
Figure from IUCN Red List

Figure from IUCN Red List

Threats

The IUCN Red List names the following as major threats to the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle:

  • Harvesting of eggs by humans
  • Dying as a result of becoming bycatch in fishing gear
  • Habitat destruction and transformation
  • Predation of eggs and hatchlings
How You Can Help

The Sea Turtle Conservancy lists many ways you can help sea turtles. A few of those include limiting the amount of plastic you use, symbolically adopting an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, and writing letters to your local newspapers and government officials to inform them about the plight of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. Visit the following link to view the complete list.

http://www.conserveturtles.org/involved.php?page=actions

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Piro Beach- Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica Photo Credit to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Piro Beach- Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Photo Credit to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Piro Beach- Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica Photo Credit to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Piro Beach- Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Photo Credit to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza

References

Abreu-Grobois, A & Plotkin, P. (IUCN SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group) 2008.Lepidochelys olivacea. The

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 05 March

2015.

 NOAA. “Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys Olivacea).” NOAA Fisheries. N.p., 30 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.

<http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/oliveridley.htm&gt;.

Sea Turtle Conservancy. N.p., 2014. Web. <http://www.conserveturtles.org/involved.php?page=actions&gt;.

Special thanks to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza for allowing me to use his photographs!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s