Did you know flash photography can harm baby sea turtles?

Did you know flash photography can harm baby sea turtles?

Sea Turtles

Flash photography is harmless more often than not. But there are times when the powerful flash of cameras can do damage to things, both living and inanimate.

One of the latest examples detailing how flash photography can harm a living creature is shared in a recent PSA given by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

According to the announcement, taking flash photos of sea turtles can interfere with the reproduction habits of the reptiles by disorienting the mothers while making their nests, which house the little ones throughout the incubating and hatching process.

In the statement, FWC says:

It’s great that people are enjoying Florida’s beaches and are enthusiastic about our sea turtles […] However, most visitors to the beach don’t realize that any light on the beach at night poses a threat to these threatened and endangered animals. A nesting female may become frightened or disoriented by lights or a flash photo and return to the ocean without laying eggs. Lights on the beach at night also could interfere with adult or hatchling sea turtles trying to find the ocean after nesting or hatching.

It might seem extreme that a few flashes of a camera could harm the mother sea turtles, but considering three species are listed as ‘Endangered’ or ‘Critically Endangered’, any potential loss of sea turtle population could cause irreversible damage to their existence.

Keep this in mind next time you’re on the beach. Better yet, help ensure more of these adorable little dudes make it to the sea like this guy:

YouTube video

If you happen to be in Florida and see sea turtles or other beach wildlife in danger, you can contact FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1–888–404–3922.

[via Palm Beach Post]

Image credits: Turtles by U.S. Geological Survey used under CC BY 2.0

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