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Saving Sea Turtles: Extraordinary Stories from the Battle against Extinction

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Overview

In April 2007, eleven leatherback turtles captured the imagination of the public worldwide as they "raced" from Costa Rica toward the Galápagos Islands. Known as the Great Turtle Race, this event tracked these critically endangered sea turtles, drawing attention to their fragile status and generating data on the turtles vital to efforts to study and protect them.

But the Great Turtle Race is just one of many tools marine conservationists use to inform people about the status, ...

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Saving Sea Turtles: Extraordinary Stories from the Battle against Extinction

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Overview

In April 2007, eleven leatherback turtles captured the imagination of the public worldwide as they "raced" from Costa Rica toward the Galápagos Islands. Known as the Great Turtle Race, this event tracked these critically endangered sea turtles, drawing attention to their fragile status and generating data on the turtles vital to efforts to study and protect them.

But the Great Turtle Race is just one of many tools marine conservationists use to inform people about the status, biology, and lives of the seven sea turtle species. Due to human actions, once-plentiful sea turtle population levels plummeted throughout much of the twentieth century, stabilizing somewhat only after Archie Carr and Jacques Cousteau popularized their plight. With Saving Sea Turtles, award-winning author James R. Spotila picks up where Carr and Cousteau left off, going inside the modern-day conservation movement to tell the tales of today’s sea turtle conservationists. He provides a complete overview of sea turtle biology and life cycles, discusses the human and natural world threats they face, and examines the new methods and technologies humans are using to save them. Throughout, Spotila dots the narrative with stories of real-life heroes who risk life and limb to understand, track, and conserve sea turtles across the globe.

Spotila has been at the forefront of sea turtle research and conservation for decades. His inspirational story of dedicated individuals, creative endeavors, and adventure reveals what is being done and what else we must do in order to ensure that these fascinating animals continue swimming in the oceans.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Birdbooker Report
An interesting overview on the threats to the survival of sea turtles.
Choice

A very engaging and entertaining account of past and present efforts to save sea turtles from extinction.

Science News
A turtle biologist makes a plea to save sea turtles, remarkable creatures that start life buried in up to two feet of sand.
Books at the Beach Blog
If you enjoy aquatic life, you will love this book.

— Steven King

Midwest Book Review
A lively, involving read.
The Biologist
James Spotila conveys an infectious enthusiasm which hooks the reader from the start... Saving Sea Turtles will be enjoyed by all who have an interest in turtles and conservation.

— Susan Omar

Books at the Beach Blog - Steven King
If you enjoy aquatic life, you will love this book.
The Biologist - Susan Omar
James Spotila conveys an infectious enthusiasm which hooks the reader from the start... Saving Sea Turtles will be enjoyed by all who have an interest in turtles and conservation.
Choice
A very engaging and entertaining account of past and present efforts to save sea turtles from extinction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801899072
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/16/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 777,506
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James R. Spotila is a professor of biology and the Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Science at Drexel University. He is one of the world's leading sea turtle researchers and conservationists and the author of the award-winning book Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Sea Turtles in the Modern World: Where Do We Stand Today? 1

2 Life in the Egg: Buried Alive under Two Feet of Sand 15

3 Race to the Sea: Coatis, Crabs, and Night Herons-Oh My! 36

4 To the Horizon: The First Day 52

5 Lost and Found: Life as a Juvenile 57

6 The Deadliest Catch: The Other Side of Fishing 78

7 Out of the Fire: The Gauntlet Continues 93

8 Return to the Beach: You Can't Go Home Anymore 100

9 Nesting: Taking Back the Night 117

10 Las Baulas: The Last Hope for Pacific Leatherbacks 132

11 Ostional: The Egg-stained Sands of Costa Rica 144

12 Global Warming: Rising Seas, Lost Beaches, and Genders 160

13 The Great Turtle Race: A New Approach to Conservation Education 169

14 Sea Turtles and Satellites: Tales of Technology 184

15 2100: A World with, or without, Sea Turtles? 198

Index 207

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating but a bit short on solutions

    James Spotila conducts a worldwide study into what is causing the decrease in sea turtles throughout the world. Going beyond just what is causing it, though, he carefully explicates why the decline is so important to all living things.




    The biggest curiosity seems to be "what loggerheads are doing...during their oceanic stage." Scientists can study what happens at each end of their journey, but not everyone agrees about what is happening en route. They know that turtles in the western Pacific are declining, but due to what? This mystery heightens the risk the turtles already face on land.



    For example, dogs, raccoons, birds, coatis, crabs, and crocodiles all are known predators near shore and in nesting areas. Humans have a surprisingly huge impact as well, in two ways. One is that real estate near the nesting areas is deemed more worthy than the marine habitat, so new homes and new pets, as well as pollution and traffic, all get closer to the areas essential to turtles for laying eggs.


    Beyond that, turtle eggs are sought by many for consumption. Turtle eggs placed in beer allegedly increases sexual stamina, a sort of Viagra for men in South and Latin America. Cantinas can charge a great deal for the perk, so looting is common in the endangered habitats where sea turtles lay their eggs. One conservation group launched a publicity campaign with an Argentinian model to discourage the practice, only to be shut down by women's groups offended by the scantily-clad model.



    Turtle eggs are also used in baking, and a quick Google search yields many recipes. Apparently, turtle eggs make a fluffier cake. In Malaysia, 90% of turtle eggs are harvested by people for these reasons.



    Global warming is suspected as another reason for the decline. One reason is that the sex of the turtle is determined by how hot the egg gets during incubation. Hotter beaches mean an increase in egg temperature that produces more females than males. Less males mean that even if the turtles are healthy, they can't always reproduce. Global warming also effects the food supply that the turtles depend on.



    The book is a fascinating read, with many anecdotal examples. The big shocker in it, though, has to be where the author promotes nuclear power as a way to avoid CO2 emissions, especially in India and China. Given what has happened in Japan after this book went to press, that solution may not go over well.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Saving sea turtles

    Is this a easy book

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2013

    IF YOU WANT TO REPLY TO ME MY NAME IS VICKY WHITE

    EVERY DAY I RAED THIS BOOK I THANK OF SOMETHING FUNNYY ABOUT IT AND EACH TIME I READ ABOUT IT AND MADE ME LAFE SO HARD AND THANK UYOU SO MUCH Buy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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