Posted on February 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Biologists concerned about drastic Indonesian nesting decline
A leatherback sea turtle in the sand. Photo courtesy NOAA.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Endangered leatherback sea turtles are losing ground in one of their last Indonesian breeding areas, where biologists have documented a 78 percent decline in nests in the past 27 years.
Leatherbacks are the largest of all marine turtles and the largest living reptile in the world, weighing up to 2,000 pounds and growing to more than six feet in length.
“At least 75 percent of all Leatherback turtles in the western Pacific Ocean hatch from eggs laid on a few beaches in an area known as Bird’s Head Peninsula in Papua Barat-Indonesia,” said Peter Dutton of NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and one of the researchers who co-authored the paper published this week in Ecosphere. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species | Tagged: endangered species, Environment, Indonesia, leatherback sea turtles, oceans, sea turtles | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 3, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A leatherback sea turtle at sea. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Hotter and drier beaches threatens reproduction
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Hotter and drier beaches all but wipe out eastern Pacific populations of leatherback sea turtles by the end of the century, according researchers from Drexel University who said the global warming could hinder the species ability to recover from other threats, including egg poaching and entanglement in fishing nets.
If climate patterns follow projections used in the study, the eastern Pacific population of leatherback turtles will decline by 75 percent by the year 2100.
“We used three models of this leatherback population to construct a climate-forced population dynamics model. Two parts were based on the population’s observed sensitivity to the nesting beach climate and one part was based on its sensitivity to the ocean climate,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Vincent Saba, a research fishery biologist with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center, visiting research collaborator at Princeton University, and a Drexel University alumnus. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: climate, climate change, Costa Rica, endangered species, global warming, leatherback sea turtles | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 24, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Leatherback sea turtle closeup. Photo by Scott R. Benson, NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
Study suggests global warming will add to pressure on wide-ranging reptiles
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with weather woes like droughts or excessive moisture, El Niño has been linked with higher mortality rates in populations of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles.
Those impacts could be exacerbated by global warming, may lead to more frequent warm and dry spells in key breeding areas like Northwest Costa Rica, according to researchers with Drexel University.
“Climate change may threaten survival of leatherback populations even if other factors driving population declines are removed,” the researchers wrote in a paper published online in the open access journal PLoS ONE. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, climate change, El Nino, global warming, leatherback sea turtles, Playa Grande Costa Rica | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Limits on longline bycatch set to protect endangered turtles
Loggerhead sea turtle. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Endangered leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles around Hawaii may have a better chance of recovery after a federal court last week set strict limits on the longline swordfish fishery in the waters around the islands.
“Our settlement ensures that sea turtles can swim more freely and safely in Hawaii’s waters,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “If loggerheads and leatherbacks are going to survive, we need to stop killing them in our fisheries.”
Under the settlement, upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the longline swordfishing boats will have to curtail their activity for the season once they’ve landed 17 turtles as bycatch.
The settlement rejected an appeal by the fishing industry, which sought to invalidate the agreement, and resolved a lawsuit brought by the Turtle Island Restoration Network, the Center for Biological Diversity and KAHEA, a native Hawaiian-environmental alliance. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Hawaii, leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A leatherback sea turtle. PHOTO BY SCOTT R. BENSON, NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE. Click on the photo to visit a NOAA sea turtle photo gallery online.
New study shows need for greater international cooperation in conservation efforts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Giant leatherback sea turtles swim from nesting sites in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea all the way across the Pacific Ocean to the coast of California in search of food. These long-distance migrations mean more international cooperation is needed to preserve the critically endangered reptiles, according to a pair of NOAA scientists who used satellites to track the turtles for 10 years.
Conservation efforts at beach nesting sites are only part of the equation, the researcher said, explaining that the turtles have to protected from other threats in foraging areas.
“Tracking the turtles on their extraordinary migrations over the years has allowed us to finally piece together the complex linkages between their breeding areas and feeding areas,” said senior author Peter Dutton, with NOAA Fisheries Service. “The leatherbacks have acted as international ambassadors, leading us to join with partners on both sides of the Pacific in a concerted effort to conserve leatherbacks.” (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, leatherback sea turtles, national marine fisheries service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Summit County News | Leave a Comment »