Tuesdays with Turtles – Leatherbacks in Gabon

Scientists find world’s largest leatherback sea turtle population in Gabon

Some good news, there are more leatherbacks in the world than we thought there were. Sea turtles are one of the sex symbols of the wildlife world, majestic accessible and gentle creatures that have attracted many people (including myself) to a career in the environmental sciences. It is interesting, given the amount of money and attention given to sea turtle research, that a huge population has hitherto slipped by unnoticed. But, like most divas, they surprise us.

The ocean is a large place and given that leatherbacks travel from South America to Morocco, and can dive deep, it is not surprising that they can hide.

One can only hope that this nesting site is now protected from poaching and all the other depredations that sea turtles face. It appears that close to 80% of this population nests in protected beaches, so even better.

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