Park rangers find 90 eggs from an endangered species of turtle in a nature reserve

The leatherback turtle is the largest animal of its kind and is considered to be almost extinct. The authorities in Ecuador have now found 90 eggs in a nature reserve.

90 eggs of the endangered leatherback turtle have been discovered in a nature reserve in Ecuador, South America. According to the Ecuadorian Environment Ministry, on Thursday, the turtle eggs were discovered in the Galera San Francisco reservation in the Esmeraldas province on the border with Colombia. The leatherback turtle, which bears the scientific name Dermochelys coriacea, is the largest species of tortoise in the world. When adult, leatherback turtles can grow to be up to three meters long and weigh up to a ton.

A young hatches only from half of the eggs

In the past few months there has been several good news from Ecuador about leatherback turtles. Since the beginning of January, 70 specimens of this species have hatched in the province of Manabi. After the latest find, guards installed a device to monitor temperature in order to be able to follow the development of the leatherback turtles.

The biodiversity in the Galera San Francisco Reserve is comparable to that of the Galapagos Archipelago. Turtle nests were found in the reserve as early as 2015 and 2017. At that time, however, no young hatched from the eggs.

The leatherback turtle lives in temperate tropical, subtropical and subarctic waters in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It has a low reproductive rate because only half of the eggs hatch young. The turtle is critically endangered in the eastern Pacific.

Read the original coverage by AFP via 20Min at https://www.20min.ch/story/wildhueter-finden-90-eier-einer-bedrohten-schildkroetenart-376422952005

There are several reasons why the leatherback turtles are at risk. 
On the one hand the animals are hunted, on the other hand they also die from the increasing amount of garbage floating in the oceans. REUTERS
If the leatherback turtle lays eggs on accessible beaches, it is a big event, like seen here in French Guiana. AFP

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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