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U.S. tightens rules to save endangered turtle species

The loggerhead sea turtle has been divided into nine distinct population segments depending on where they live, listing five as endangered and four as threatened, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The decision was made Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who say that the change will help scientists create conservation efforts that can be customized to certain groups depending on their specific threats and genetics, the news source reports.

A number of factors threaten the species, but commercial fishing is one of the biggest threats, whether the turtles live in the Indian, Pacific or Atlantic oceans, according to CNN. More than 4,500 loggerheads are killed each year by commercial fishing, researchers estimate, but environmentalists say the number is probably higher.

These turtles are also threatened by losses of habitat, degradation of nesting areas, egg harvesting and vessel strikes, but the risks vary depending on their geographic location, the news source reports. Being able to focus on each area and group individually will help researchers determine the best conservation efforts. 
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