Day: July 26, 2007

Tuesdays with Turtles -Thursday Edition – Pacific Leatherbacks in Trouble

Personal Note
I swear, this blog has gone to pot. Either I’ve been too busy at work (yes, that does not explain everything), or I have not been thinking enough. I started this blog so that when I saw something interesting, I would have to think a little bit, and gather some information to write about what I saw/read. Apparently, I don’t read/see any more (which is not true), I don’t think any more (possible), or I am too lazy to spend enough time thinking to throw a coherent blog post together.

This has got to stop, and it stops right now!!
End Personal Note
Back to the topic on hand…

The Pacific Leatherback is in serious trouble and is slated to go extinct soon.

ENN News Network

Experts at the Bellagio Sea Turtle Conservation Initiative have just concluded a conference to save the imperiled Pacific leatherback sea turtle from extinction. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has classified Pacific leatherbacks as critically endangered.

The meeting convened an internationally diverse group of scientists, conservationists, economists, fund-raisers and policy makers. One focus was the development of immediate actions to boost hatchling production of the Western Pacific nesting populations by protecting nests from predation, beach erosion and human consumption on the beaches of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Malaysia. Although there are still hundreds of turtles nesting, with 75 percent in one area on the north coast of Papua (Indonesia), researchers are concerned by new information indicating that the majority of nests laid are not producing hatchlings. Some simple procedures have been developed to improve hatch success, and applying these techniques now may ensure the populations are sustained in the future.

Some radical measures have been suggested, including cloning. Well, highly unlikely. Jurassic Park horrors and ethical dilemmas aside, cloning reptiles ain’t so easy.

What ails the Pacific Leatherback? Their numbers have dropped from 115000 reproductive females to less than 3000. This news release from a 2004 conference has more. But the usual suspects are destruction of nesting habitats, long line fishing, egg poaching, and to a more uncertain degree, climate change.

It’s depressing, I’ve never seen a leatherback, I guess I need to get on the case and see one before they disappear for ever.