The Endangered – Leatherback Turtle

turtleBy Utsa Parikh, Youth Manager

The largest sea turtle that we know of is called the Leatherback Turtle, and it also migrates the most, as we see in Finding Nemo! When the Leatherback Turtle migrates, it crosses the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans going from the coral Triangle all the way to the California coast. According to the IUCN, the Leatherback Turtle is listed as vulnerable, but many sub-populations are critically endangered.

Why do they matter? Many sea turtles such as the Leatherback Turtle eat jellyfish, keeping their population in check. An abundance of jellyfish could end up toppling the whole marine life food chain and causing an extinction of not only sea turtles such as the Leatherback, but also hundreds of other species.

But why are they going extinct? Over population is one of the biggest problems! Sea turtle eggs are a delicacy in the cooking industry. They are used in medicine as well. The overpopulation of the human race is causing more demand for Leatherback Turtle eggs. In some places nearly 100% of eggs laid are harvested. Japan is one of the largest importers of sea turtles, and between 1970 and 1989, Japan has imported 1.5 million pounds of shell which is about 700,000 dead turtles.

How can we help? An easy way to help, donate to World Wild Life (WWL) on their website www.worldwildlife.org or if you really want to help out you can adopt a turtle also at www.worldwildlife.org.

http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/leatherback-turtle

http://www.conserveturtles.org/seaturtleinformation.php?page=whycareaboutseaturtles

http://www.bagheera.com/inthewild/van_anim_turtle.htm

Want more of The Endangered? Check out the growing list of articles on our Wildlife page.

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