Sea turtles are marine reptiles that have swum in our oceans form more than 100 million years, having played a vital ecological role for the marine habitats since then. These highly migratory animals travel over long distances in many parts of the world and spend most of their lives in the ocean. However, since they breath air and lay eggs, they periodically go back to land to busk or to nest on sandy beaches. These characteristics make them fundamental for the health of the sea. In fact, they are able to transport essential nutrients from the oceans to the land, help balance marine food webs and maintain productive the coral reef ecosystems.
There are seven different species of sea turtles in the world, but only three of them can be found in the Mediterranean Sea. The loggerhead turtle is frequent in Malta and often seen nesting on the sandy beaches of the archipelago.
Despite their high ecological value, the survival of sea turtles is at risk, due to many human-caused threats pushing these animals towards extinction. It is therefore important to protect them from pressures and to allow them to fulfil their vital functions for the ocean.