Green sea turtle populations in Florida and Mexico have been reclassified from endangered to threatened.
This is a positive step forward and showcases successful conservation efforts.
Under the new label, the turtles will still require protection under the Endangered Species Act, but they no longer face an imminent risk of extinction.
Since 1978 the number of nesting females on Florida beaches has increased, with at least 2,250 counted every year. A big improvement from the handful counted back in 1978.
NOAA administrator for fisheries Eileen Sobeck says in a news release that efforts developed in Florida and Mexico are a roadmap for further recovery strategies of green turtle populations around the world.
“Successful conservation and management efforts developed in Florida and along the Pacific coast of Mexico are a roadmap for further recovery strategies of green turtle populations around the world,” said Ms. Sobeck.
Sea turtles have long faced a host of threats, from beach development, to pollution, to fishing nets that entangled them.
Fishing gear and boat strikes also kill significant numbers of turtles each year.
This leaves three populations of green sea turtles worldwide that are considered endangered and at the highest risk of extinction — Mediterranean Sea and the Central South Pacific and Central West Pacific Ocean.