Success in restoring leatherback turtle population
2021-11-04 9:04 by AS
The number of leatherback turtle nests found along some south Floridabeaches reached record numbers this year, surprising biologists.The 79 nests laid by endangered turtles along beaches in Broward county this year is nearly double the previous record, according to the South Florida SunSentinel. The previous record was 46 in 2012, and the record low for leatherback nests was 12 in 2017.
“It’s difficult to say why Broward county saw such an increase in leatherback nesting this season,” Stephanie Kedzuf, a Broward county biologist who specializes in sea turtles, told the newspaper.Leatherback turtles are the largest in the world and are the only turtle species that lacks scales and a hard shell. Instead, they have tough, rubbery skin and typically crawl on to beaches at night and dig holes to lay their eggs in the sand. When the turtles hatch, they race towards the ocean while avoiding predators such as crabs and birds.Despite having the widest global distribution of any reptile, leatherback turtles are rapidly declining in various parts of the world. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, leatherbacks’ global population has declined 40% over the past three generations, with the Pacific leatherback being most at risk.