Endangered Species of Italy - Page 9

  MArine  Turtle  –  CARETTA  CARETTA       For more than 100 million years marine turtles have covered vast distances   oceans, performing a vital and integral role in marine and across the world's ︎ coastal ecosystems. Over the last 200 years human activities have tipped the scales against the survival of these ancient mariners. Urgent global action is needed to ensure their future. ︎ Most marine turtle species spend much of their lives in continental shelf waters. Males do not leave the sea and females only come ashore to lay their eggs on sandy beaches during the appropriate season.︎ Once the hatchlings exit their nest and reach the sea, a swimming frenzy ensues to reach open ocean zones where currents meet, and where the small turtles find food and refuge from their many predators. Only once marine turtles become adults do they return to the beach area where they were born to lay their own eggs.︎ The long time to reach maturity and the many natural dangers faced by hatchlings and juveniles mean that as few as 1 in 1,000 eggs will survive to adulthood.︎