Thailand's Rare Leatherback Sea Turtles Experience The Best Breeding Season In 20 Years Thanks To Lockdown

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Thailand's Rare Leatherback Sea Turtles Experience The Best Breeding Season In 20 Years Thanks To Lockdown

Wonderful news from Thailand!


According to the Phuket Marine Biological Center there has been the largest increase in Leatherback Turtle nests in the last 20 years, and researchers are saying the lockdown is to account for this. With less tourists and fewer fishing vessels the gigantic turtles are having the chance to breed at an unprecedented rate, at least by recent standards.


Leatherback Turtles are the largest species of turtle in the world and are regarded as endangered in many areas, including Thailand. These magnificent beasts can grow to between 300 and 800kgs, their flippers can have a length of up to 9 feet, and they have been found diving to depths of 4,000 feet in order to hunt.


The female turtles come onshore and lay eggs in nests which then hatch and on their own the new hatchling baby turtles then run into the sea. It is estimated that each female will lay around 100 eggs per nest but, generally, a very small proportion of the new young make it to the sea or survive into adulthood as they are often captured by predators.


Due to the large number of tourists Thailand receives, some 40 million per year, this can affect the breeding ground of turtles as beaches are turned into places where tourists like to congregate and where busy businesses catering to the tourists have sprung up. All this makes for a very inhospitable place for the turtles to lay their eggs even if the tourists do not intentionally mean them any harm.


Now with a lockdown in place, a whole new generation of turtles is having the opportunity to be born.


Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, the director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center said:
"This is a very good sign for us because many areas for spawning have been destroyed by humans. If we compare to the year before, we didn't have this many spawn, because turtles have a high risk of getting killed by fishing gear and humans disturbing the beach."


Kanokwan Homcha-ai, a supervisor at the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation also added:
"This may have positive impacts on the environment in marine conservation in the long term as well. Not just sea turtles, but other marine species such as dolphins and dugong that live in the region have also increased in numbers according to government surveys, such as hermit crabs and other food sources for marine animals."


Thailand is not the only place where turtles are having a lockdown revival. India's Olive Ridley sea turtles, Brazil's Hawksbill sea turtles, and Florida's Leatherbacks (like in Thailand) have all, according to researchers, seen a revival in successful breeding and nesting.


We certainly hope this is a trend that continues as every creature deserves a home and the right to a nurturing environment.

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Thinking Humanity: Thailand's Rare Leatherback Sea Turtles Experience The Best Breeding Season In 20 Years Thanks To Lockdown
Thailand's Rare Leatherback Sea Turtles Experience The Best Breeding Season In 20 Years Thanks To Lockdown
Wonderful news from Thailand! According to the Phuket Marine Biological Center there has been the largest increase in Leatherback Turtle nests in the last 20 years, and researchers are saying the lockdown is to account for this. With less tourists and fewer fishing vessels the gigantic turtles are having the chance to breed at an unprecedented rate, at least by recent standards
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