Louie the Leatherback’s Watery Worry

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‘Sup, my Earth Ranger friends? The name’s Louie and if you couldn’t tell by my wicked shell and flippers, I’m a leatherback sea turtle. My species is the largest of all living sea turtles – a couple of my buddies weigh over 1000 pounds and are 6 feet long. Fueling a body this big takes lots of food and there’s nothing we love more than snacking on jellies (you might call them jellyfish) so we go where they go. And, wouldn’t you know it – the waters around Atlantic Canada are filled with them!

Canada is great but we can’t stay here all year because leatherback sea turtles love to travel. Sometimes we’ll cover up to 18,000km/year – that’s about half the distance it would take to get to the Moon! We just need to catch a ride on a sweet ocean current, and off we go.

But recently, we’ve noticed that our favourite currents are changing and that’s like NOT gnarly, dude. We use the currents to help us get around but because of climate change, we can’t travel to the same places we used to. Plus, the changing ocean current is causing the jellies we love in our bellies to disappear. Like, what are we going to eat now?

Changing the currents isn’t the only problem climate change is causing for me and my bros. When the ladies lay their eggs, they look for soft sandy beaches to dig their nests but the rising sea levels and intense storms brought on by climate change may wash away beaches, taking the nests along with them.

Leatherback sea turtle returning to the ocean after laying eggs.

Then there’s the changing temperature, which is like totally messing with our species. You see, whether a turtle is a dude or a dudette depends on the average temperature when the eggs develops: cooler = boy, and warmer = girl. Since climate change is causing the weather to get warmer, there are a lot more female turtles being born. I’m all for GIRL POWER, but when there are too many females and not enough males, it means fewer baby turtles are born each year and that’s a problem.

A baby leatherback sea turtle crawls into the ocean for the first time.

Climate change is not only causing epic problems for sea turtles like me, it’s also hurting many of the other creatures we share our waters with. Anything you can do to slow down climate change would be totally righteous! This is Louie the leatherback sea turtle, signing off. Cowabunga, dude!

Visit earthrangers.com/climatechange to learn how you can help slow down climate change.

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Sources:
https://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/fact_sheet_red_list_turtle.pdf
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/profiles-profils/leatherbackturtleatlantic-tortueluthatlantique-eng.html

 

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