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A Worldwide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles

Wallace J. Nichols

Publication Year: 2014

Sea turtle populations around the world are endangered, and in recent years tourism has been a critical element in worldwide efforts to save them. More travelers seek meaningful experiences that bring them close to nature and wildlife, and opportunities to interact with and help sea turtles now exist at locations around the globe, from remote beaches to urban labs.

            In A Worldwide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles, a scientist, a conservationist, and a journalist have come together to provide a guide to the places where people can view sea turtles and participate in authentic conservation projects. In accounts that cover five continents and include the South Pacific and Caribbean, the authors direct readers to the parks, reserves, and research sites where they can responsibly observe turtles in the wild, especially nesting beaches where people can see female sea turtles lay eggs and hatchlings make their harrowing journey from nest to sea. Options for on-site lodging and other amenities are included, if available, as well as details of other nearby attractions that travelers may wish to include in their itineraries.

            By supporting local outfitters, hotels, restaurants, and guides, travelers can  actively participate in efforts to save sea turtles, boost local economies, and make sea turtles more valuable alive than dead. With its helpful maps and color images and enlivened with first-person experiences and anecdotes about turtle encounters, A Worldwide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles shows why these charismatic and photogenic animals are becoming stars of world ecotourism.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph

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Contents

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pp. viii-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xviii

Several feet below the sand, a tiny hatchling struggles out of its round, white egg. A mound of more than 100 other eggs surrounds it. One by one, other baby sea turtles begin to emerge, using a small triangular extension on their beaks to pierce the now-thin eggshells...

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Sea Turtles and the Threats to Their Survival

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pp. 1-18

Sea turtles have changed little in the past 100 million years—appearing before and eventually outliving the dinosaurs. They swim nearly all the oceans of the world and were once so numerous that sailors reported seas literally crawling with them. Today, due to a variety of...

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A Worldwide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles

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pp. 19-20

We live in a world of rapid and constant change, and perhaps nowhere is this more true than in conservation and work with wild animals and places. We made the information in this guidebook as accurate as possible at...

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United States

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pp. 21-60

While no sea turtles nest on beaches of the US West Coast, most species do pass through or forage in its waters. Sharp-eyed kayakers may see green turtles in San Diego Bay or leatherbacks in Monterey Bay in the fall. Scientists from the National Oceanic and...

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Caribbean Islands

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pp. 61-84

A string of islands arcing from Cuba, just 90 miles south of Florida, to the northern coast of South America rings clear, blue waters known as the Caribbean Sea. These islands include the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the British and US Virgin...

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Mexico

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pp. 85-108

Mexico boasts many miles of coastline, adjoining the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean on its eastern side, and the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez on its west. Along the Baja California peninsula, the world’s longest, olive ridley, green, loggerhead, leatherback, and hawksbill...

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Central America

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pp. 109-138

This Central American nation abuts both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and contains some of the most active nesting beaches in the world. Costa Rica is considered by many to be the birthplace of ecotourism, although its image as an environmentally...

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South America

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pp. 139-142

The largest country in South America, Brazil contains an incredible biodiversity. It also offers almost every experience for travelers, from beaches to rain forests, waterfalls, canyons, and the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal, 20 times the size of the Florida Everglades...

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Mediterranean Sea

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pp. 143-146

Loggerheads nest mostly in the eastern portion of the Mediterranean, primarily in Cyprus, Greece, and in smaller numbers in Turkey. Small numbers of loggerhead nests have been recorded in Egypt, Israel, Italy, Libya, Syria, and Tunisia. Based on the recorded number of...

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Africa

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pp. 147-164

Humans most likely originated from the continent of Africa, with modern humans arising there more than 200,000 years ago. Sea turtles, of course, have been there much longer. The world’s secondlargest continent, Africa has coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, Red...

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Indian Ocean

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pp. 165-172

Greens, loggerheads, leatherbacks, and hawksbills nest around the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea at various times throughout most of the year. Olive ridley, green, leatherback, and hawksbill sea turtles are found all along the 4,970-mile coastline of India, including the mainland...

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South Pacific

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pp. 173-192

American Samoa, the only US territory south of the equator, consists of five rugged volcanic islands and two coral atolls, a total of 76 square miles of land. The 13,500-acre National Park of American Samoa takes in three islands—Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘u—with rain forest...

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Captive Encounters

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pp. 193-208

This book contains many stories of how an encounter with a wild sea turtle created a special memory or even changed a life. Nothing compares to seeing an animal up close, in its natural environment, watching it eat, nest, or emerge into this world. We encourage everyone to...

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Resources and Organizations

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pp. 209-216

Sea turtles perhaps have inspired more organizations and projects than any other wild animal. Th s section lists many but certainly not all organizations that provide information about sea turtles or work toward their protection and conservation, whether in the wild, in...

Index

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pp. 217-222

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781623491741
E-ISBN-10: 1623491746
Print-ISBN-13: 9781623491611

Page Count: 240
Illustrations:
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Marine, Maritime, and Coastal Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University at Galveston