Green sea turtles are a keystone aquatic species because they help maintain the health of their ecosystems by consuming sea grass. When these turtles graze on sea grass, they actually increase the sea grasses’ overall nutrient content. Without green sea turtles and their beneficial environmental role, many species that share the same habitats could potentially become vulnerable, endangered, and even extinct. Sadly, green sea turtles themselves are considered endangered and despite preservation methods and more attention being drawn to their declining population, their numbers have not yet been able to stabilize.
Like all sea turtles with the exception of Australian flatback (considered vulnerable), the green sea turtle is listed as either threatened or endangered, depending on the population, and the Mediterranean subspecies is listed as critically endangered. They are protected by many local and international laws, but adults and eggs are still poached. Some of the other threats they face are from development of their hatching grounds, marine debris, boat impact, and pollution.