june 12th - loggerhead day
One of the most abundant of the species found in the US, loggerheads are named for their large head and strong crushing jaw (right) which enables them to eat hard-shelled prey such as crabs, conchs, and whelks. One of the larger species of sea turtles, the loggerhead turtle ranges from 200-400 pounds (90 - 180 kg) and up to 4 feet in length (1.2 meters). They occur throughout temperate and tropical regions of the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.
Loggerheads are found in every ocean around the world. Only leatherbacks have a wider distribution. The largest concentration of nesting occurs on Masirah Island off the coast of Oman in the Middle East. In the Pacific, their main nesting grounds include Japan and Australia. In the Atlantic, the main concentration occurs in Florida. They are the most common species in the Mediterranean, nesting on beaches in Greece, Turkey, and Israel.
Their biggest threat is entanglement in fishing gear (also known as “bycatch”) in commercial fishing gear, including trawls, longlines, gillnets, and traps and pots. In the US trawl fishery, devices called TED’s, or Turtle Excluder Devices are required by law. These devices allow sea turtles to escape out of the nets, however in other parts of the world these devices are not regulated and they continue to be caught.
Atlantic Loggerheads: Why Isn’t the Best Understood Sea Turtle Recovering?: State of the World’s Turtles (2018)
The Pacific Loggerhead, So Excellent a Connector: State of the World’s Turtles (2018)
sample social media posts:
Loggerhead turtles undertake one of the longest migrations of any sea turtle. The ones that hatch on Japanese beaches travel all the way across the Pacific to feed and grow along Mexico’s Baja California coast. Learn more about these fascinating turtles here: https://www.seaturtleweek.com/loggerhead-day #SeaTurtleWeek
Loggerheads are often poached for their eggs and meat but the biggest threat to this species is actually the incidental take of them in the wild. Loggerheads can become entangled in nets or caught on hooks in fishing gear. The turtles may drown underwater, sustain serious injuries or die from strangulation. #SeaTurtleWeek via @hsiglobal
Photo credit: Ticiana Fettermann