State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT) Report XIII

In contrast to the properly grim outlook of just a few decades ago, these are pretty good times for sea turtles. In a 2017 paper titled “Global Sea Turtle Conservation Successes,” Antonio Mazaris and colleagues reported that published estimates of sea turtle populations tend to be increasing rather than decreasing globally. We have also seen the status of some species improving in recent Red List assessments led by the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group, with both the leatherback and loggerhead improving to vulnerable globally (from critically endangered and endangered, respectively). Even the world’s most threatened sea turtle species—the Kemp’s ridley, which is still critically endangered— shows signs of a rebound (see pp. 32–33). Olive ridleys are smashing past abundance records at their arribada beach in Escobilla, Mexico, and SWOT Reports have shared many accounts of recovery, ranging from Michoacán black turtles (pp. 44–45), to the sea turtles of Japan (pp. 24–31) and Brazil, the Hawaiian honu, Cyprus greens, and loggerheads in Kyparissia Bay, Greece, to name a few.

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