Leatherback sea turtle

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Leatherback sea turtle

In Canada, leatherbacks occur off the coasts of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Egg collection by humans is a problem on nesting beaches, as leatherback eggs are consumers as a delicacy in many countries. As well, many once-undisturbed nesting beaches have now been developed into residential areas and tourist resorts; hatchlings that emerge from nests are often disoriented by the bright lights, and succumb to exhaustion, dehydration, or predation as they struggle to find their way to the sea.In the ocean, leatherback turtles can become hooked, and/or entangled in fishing gear. While many fishers are careful to release trapped leatherbacks, some turtles drown or sustain lethal injuries before help arrives. The turtles can also become tangled in discarded fishing gear, collide with vessels, or mistake plastic debris for food (which can lead to obstruction of the digestive system, followed by starvation).

Why is the leatherback turtle endangered

More than six feet long, weighing as much as 1400 pounds leatherbacks are the world's largest ocean-going turtles. They are also the only sea turtle with a soft, rubbery shell. Leatherbacks have special adaptations that allow them to eliminate waste gases through their skin, so they can stay under water for extraordinarily long periods of time. Inside their bodies, they actually convert salt water to fresh water, ingesting the sea water around them and excreting the salt. Their bodies are insulated by a thick layer of fat -- another adaptation that is unique among turtles to leatherbacks.


The Pacific population of leatherback sea turtles has suffered most over the last twenty years: as few as 2,300 adult females now remain, making the Pacific leatherback the world's most endangered marine turtle population.

how much leatherbacks are left

what is happening to protect the leatherback sea turtle

the Canadian Sea Turtle Network (CSTN), a collaborative research and conservation initiative that includes fishermen, tour-boat operators, naturalists, coastal community members, and university-affiliated biologists in Atlantic Canada. The CSTN has produced a video that informs fishers about leatherbacks and how to release them from fishing gear, and also reponds directly to reports of entangled turtles. The group has also conducted field research on leatherbacks since 1999, including equipping over 70 leatherback turtles with satellite-linked tags to track them on their ocean voyages in the hope of solving some of the mysteries surrounding the turtle and contributing to the recovery of the species.

what ecological place in being harmed from the loss of the leatherback sea turtle

Sea turtles have played vital roles in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans formore than 100 million years. These roles range from maintaining productive coralreef ecosystems to transporting essential nutrients from the oceans to beaches andcoastal dunes.Major changes have occurred in the oceans because sea turtles have been virtuallyeliminated from many areas of the globe. Commercial fishing, loss of nesting habitatand climate change are among the human-caused threats pushing sea turtlestowards extinction. As sea turtle populations decline, so does their ability to fulfillvital functions in ocean ecosystems.


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