Courthouse News Service reports that sea turtle populations in Pacific coral reefs are increasing.

The sites were located in American Samoa, the Hawaiian Archipelago, the Mariana Archipelago and the Pacific Remote Island Area complex.

The positive development is due to environmental protection efforts and greater awareness among researchers off the impact of global warming.

Two species are in particular were observed by NOAA and the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center: green and hawksbill turtles.

A Hawaiian green sea turtle rests on East Island.

Alana Eagle/Civil Beat

“Historically hawksbills were exploited for their tortoiseshell, and study authors say the creatures are also at risk due to ‘highly-threatened coral reef habitat on which they depend for sponges and invertebrate prey,'” according to CNS. “In most parts of the Pacific hawksbill turtles are scarce, but the study noted there were significant numbers of hawksbill in American Samoa.”

Green sea turtles are doing even better.

“The study notes that ‘if documented rates of warming continue,’ some cooler areas like the Hawaiian Islands might see an increase in sea turtle populations while warmer waters might surpass the ideal temperature for turtles to thrive, and see numbers decline,” according to CNS.

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