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海龟的生存

The Survival of the Sea Turtle

(音乐)
(Music)
海龟是令人惊叹的。
Sea turtles are miraculous.
首先,他们在侏罗纪晚期的时候已经遍布各处了,
First, they’ve been around since the late Jurassic,
大约1.5亿年前。
roughly 150 million years ago.
恐龙的同类,海龟经历了沧海桑田的变迁中幸存了下来,
Cohorts of the dinosaurs, sea turtles have survived through the challenges of eons,
生活至今,当许多其他的物种在进化中消亡。
existing still today, where many others have ended their evolutionary run.
第二,从古至今,
Second, throughout the centuries and up til today,
每一个活着的成年海龟都战胜了生存概率,
every living adult sea turtle has overcome the odds,
以一种偶然的结果存活下来,
existing as a consequence of chance,
从技巧到才能。
skill and capability.
每只海龟都将如此:在它们整个的龟生中直面严酷考验.
The gauntlet each sea turtle faces in the course of its lifetime goes thus:
首先,每一批坚韧如皮革的乒乓球大小的蛋都被存放
First, deposited as a clutch of leathery, ping pong ball-sized eggs
在它妈妈在沙滩上刨的土洞里
into a nesting pit dug by its mother high on the beach,
在50到200个产下的卵中,
Of the 50 to 200 eggs laid,
大概有20%的不会孵化出来。
roughly 20 percent will never hatch.
被产下一个半月左右,
Roughly a month and a half after having been laid,
幸存的蛋孵化出来
the surviving eggs hatch
小海龟,每一个只有你手掌那么小,
and the young turtles, each small enough to fit in the palm of your hand,
在扭动着到表层上去,一起在沙子上显露
Squirm to the surface, emerging from the sand en masse
并且不顾一切的冲向大海。
and making their desperate dash for the sea.
一路上,泥石流,陷阱,蟹类
Along the way, debris, pitfalls, crabs,
海鸥,浣熊和其它威胁。
gulls, raccoons and other threats
占大概百分之五十
will claim roughly 50 percent of those
在沙滩上增长
who rose from the sand.
就是这些实际上到达海浪中的海龟,
For those that actually reach the surf,
他们将遇到另一类的危险,
they trade one set of threats for another,
他们首先面对的海浪的排斥,
as they first face the repelling force of the waves,
然后发现天敌正在等着他们。
and then find a whole new host of predators awaiting them.
各种鱼,海豚,鲨鱼和海鸟
various fish, dolphins, sharks and sea birds,
当海龟幼仔浮出水面呼吸
as the young turtles come to the surface for air.
在生命的最初几天
For their first few days of life,
它们会计算它们之中活着的数量,
should they count themselves amongst the living,
这些易受攻击的海龟幼崽在疯狂的向前游动之余.
the vulnerable turtles swim frantically forward.
最终,它们通常会定居在易于隐蔽的场所中.
Ultimately, they will often look to settle in a patch of flotsam.
海草是较好的选择.
preferably a patch of floating seaweed.
现在,为了活到之后的几个月,他们将寻求躲避他们天敌的方法.
Now, for the next several months, they will seek to avoid those that would eat them.
也可能自相残杀,
find that which they might eat themselves,
或者在恶劣的天气与无法幸免的洋流中丧生.
and not fall to the pressures of challenging weather or unfortunate currents.
在这个阶段,它们之中大概有百分之五十的同伴将随波逐流
In this phase, roughly 50 percent of those who reach the surf
迎接死亡.
will perish.
后来,很多年过去了
Ultimately, with the passage of years,
幸存者在体型有时增大,
the survivors will increase in size,
以革鬼为例,从一岁时的餐盘大小
from that of a dinner plate at year one to that of a dinner table,
在十年或者更久以后
in the case of one species at least, the Leatherback,
它将长成餐桌般大小!
a decade or so later.
体型的变化给海龟带来了一定程度上的保护
With size comes some measure of protection.
现在只有麻烦的捕食者以及一些较大的鲨鱼–
The only truly worrisome predators now are some of the larger shark species —
牛鲨,虎鲨和大白鲨–
bulls, tigers and whites —
偶尔出没的逆戟鲸
and the occasional killer whale.
在它们差不多20岁时,
At approximately two decades of age,
幸存的龟就已经到了足以繁殖的年龄,
the survivors will be old enough themselves to breed,
他们将继续他们祖辈的历程,展现他们生存的意义.
and continue the cycle which their very existence heralds.
从那个遥远海滩上的蛋开始,
Of those that began as eggs on a distant beach,
到现在,残余的龟已经不足原来的十分之一了,
now less than 10 percent remain,
至少,这在人类干预之前已经是很高的几率
at least, those were the odds prior to significant human interference.
在过去的世纪结束的那段时间,特别是最后的几个十年内,
Over the past century, and in particular in the last several decades,
人类肆意妄为的从海滩开始发展
Human endeavors, from beach development
到非法捕捞,大洋航线,渔网中,都留下了塑料垃圾,
to plastic refuse to poaching, long lines, nets,
甚至有害的化学物质,包括石油,
and even noxious chemicals, including oil,
已经严重威胁了海龟的生存,
have upped the ante for sea turtles,
造成幸存的龟的百分比降低到百分之一左右甚至更低
causing their survival rate to drop to around one percent or less
在每年的生长周期中.
from each nesting cycle.
由于来自人类的额外压力,已经有八种海龟的生存处于威胁
It is this added human pressure which has pushed each of the eight sea turtle species
以及严重威胁和濒临灭绝的状态。
to either a threatened or endangered state.
使得它们需要通过进化自身来克服许多的阻碍,
For while they have evolved to overcome a host of obstacles,
近年来的进化尤为迅速
the most recent has arisen so quickly
已经发现了相当规模的新的海龟物种
and at such scale that the species find themselves
不知所措.
overwhelmed.
所以让我们再快速的回顾一下整个过程.
So let’s quickly recap this cycle of odds.
又到了动物发情的季节~,
using a hypothetical nesting season,
雌龟将孤独的花费大量的时间来筑巢,
for females may nest multiple times in a single year,
每个沙坑,都有一千个左右的蛋.
of 1,000 eggs, for sake of ease.
产下的一千个蛋.
One thousand eggs laid.
将会有八百个孵化.
Eight hundred hatch.
其中有四百只幼龟将成功入海.
Four hundred make it to the water.
只会剩下两百只向着成年前行.
Two hundred progress toward adulthood.
最后只有二十只幸存龟到了繁殖的岁月–这个周期,是在没有人类的干扰下进行的.
Twenty survive to breeding age — that is, without human interference.
在人类的干扰下,将只有两只龟幸存到繁殖的年龄.
Two survive to breeding age with human interference.
所以一只成年可生育的海龟是象征关于
So a breeding adult sea turtle is the very embodiment
稀有.这是人类创造的意外,不是自然规则.
of a longshot. It is the exception, not the rule.
见到一只成熟可生育的海龟.是一种特别的感觉,
A jackpot. It is, in a very real sense,
犹如奇迹.
a miracle.

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