June 14th - green turtle day
The green turtle is the second largest after the leatherback. They can weigh up to 500 lbs (225 kg) and reach four feet (1.2 m) in length. The adult is an herbivore, dining on sea grasses, seaweeds, algae and other forms of marine plant life. Their beak is sharp and finely serrated, perfectly adapted for grazing in seagrass beds and scraping algae off of hard surfaces.
This species can be found in the sub-tropics and tropics worldwide, with major nesting beaches in Tortuguero (Costa Rica), Oman, Florida, and Raine Island (Australia) where thousands of turtles nest each night during peak nesting season. They are also found nesting on French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Suriname, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
Population declines are mainly due to harvest of their eggs and meat for human consumption. Fibropapilloma (also known as FP) is a disease associated with lesions and rapid tumor growth on the eyes, mouth, and soft-skin areas, as well as internal organs. FP, believed to be connected to ocean pollution, has greatly affected their populations, especially in Florida and Hawaii, but also the Caribbean and Australia. Other threats include plastic ingestion, boat strikes, coastal development, feeding habitat degradation, and entanglement in fishing gear.
sample social media posts:
Green turtle day is June 14th! This day, we’ll highlight these fascinating turtles and the threat that climate change poses to them and all sea turtle species. Learn more: www.seaturtleweek.com/green-turtle-day & @seaturtleweek #SeaTurtleWeek
Green sea turtles get their name from the green fat they develop from their mostly-vegetarian diet as adults. However, some green turtles in Southern California have also been found to eat small animals, like snails and slugs! To learn more about Southern California's green turtles and their unique diets, visit www.SoCalSeaTurtles.org! #SeaTurtleWeek
Green sea turtles are the only turtle species that are primarily herbivores, munching on sea grass in shallow coastal waters. Many studies show sea grass beds grazed by turtles to be healthier than ones that aren’t! Learn more about green turtles here: https://www.seaturtleweek.com/green-turtle-day #SeaTurtleWeek
Photo credit: Jeremy Bishop