Marine turtles are amongst the most ubiquitous icons of conservation. More, in fact, than perhaps whales and dolphins, or tigers or pandas. Most countries with a
coastline—even very cold ones—have some species of sea turtle along their coast. And a conservation programme to go with it. The fact that over 1000 participants
from nearly 80 countries attend the Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation is testimony to both the popularity of these flagships, and the
threats they face.
In this issue, we take a closer look at some of the concerns in sea turtle conservation today. Sea turtles may be particularly susceptible to climate change as hatchling sex is determined by incubation temperature; hence, rise in temperature could lead to changes in sex ratios or to mortality. Moreover, sea level changes
could impact the sandy beaches on which they nest. Mariana Fuentes uses a vulnerability assessment to examine which aspects of climate change will most affect
green turtle populations in the Great Barrier Reef. Rebecca Scott examines the oceanic routes of loggerhead turtles using satellite telemetry and ocean models.
Jack Frazier asks the critical question: what constitutes success in conservation? Matthew Godfrey takes a closer look at the value of conservation responses to
cold-stunned turtles. We also reprint J Nichols’ piece from ‘Catamaran’—where the ocean and the mind and turtles connect. The illustrations were generously
contributed by Smitha Shivaswamy and George Supreeth (Pencil Sauce).- Kartik Shanker