Sea turtles have lived in our oceans for over 100 million years. But six of their seven species now feature as ‘critically endangered’, ‘endangered’ or ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals.
Experts say that only one in 1000 baby turtles survive to adulthood under natural conditions. Although sea turtles eat and live in the water, they move to the land to lay their eggs. This means they are under constant threat from poachers who illegally hunt them down and from irresponsible beach use, which destroys their nests and kills their hatchlings. They are also at risk of suffocation from ingesting plastic bags (which they confuse with jellyfish, one of their staple diet items). Coastal development and climate change also play their part in endangering their survival.