ANIMALS THAT NEED OUR HELP: Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Species: L. olivacea
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).
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.
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
NOAA. “Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys Olivacea).” NOAA Fisheries. N.p., 30 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.
Sea Turtle Conservancy. N.p., 2014. Web. <http://www.conserveturtles.org/involved.php?page=actions>.
Special thanks to Manuel Sánchez Mendoza for allowing me to use his photographs!