20 April 2020
Large number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles were spotted in the now-empty beaches of Thailand amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- Rare turtles have made a comeback after two decades.
- 11 turtles nested first time in twenty years.
- Leatherback is the largest sea turtles, endangered in Thailand.
- Listed as vulnerable by IUCN.
- This is a very good sign for because many areas for spawning have been destroyed by humans
- Turtles have a high risk of getting killed by fishing gear and humans disturbing the beach.
About Leather Back Turtles:
- The leatherback sea turtle, sometimes called the lute turtle or leathery turtle or simply the luth, is the largest of all living turtles and is the fourth-heaviest modern reptile behind three crocodilians.
- It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys and family Dermochelyidae.
- It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell, hence the name. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh.
- They are the largest sea turtle species and also one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
- Pacific leatherbacks migrate from nesting beaches in the Coral Triangle all the way to the California coast to feed on the abundant jellyfish every summer and fall.
- Although their distribution is wide, numbers of leatherback turtles have seriously declined during the last century as a result of intense egg collection and fisheries bycatch.