latimes: Sea turtle may become California’s official marine reptile
Bill would make the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle the state’s official marine reptile, joining the garibaldi (marine fish), California poppy (flower), and saber-toothed cat (fossil).
Photo: A leatherback turtle prepares to nest and lay her eggs in Playa Caletas on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast in 2004. A proposal in California would make Pacific leatherback sea turtles the state’s official marine reptile. Credit: Project for the Conservation of Marine Turtles
Source: Los Angeles Times
Habitat for Leatherback Sea Turtles
Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these magnificent reptiles will now be safeguarded off the U.S. West Coast.
The new rule establishes critical habitat in areas where leatherbacks feed on jellyfish after swimming 6,000 miles across the ocean from Indonesia. This is the first permanent safe haven for leatherbacks designated in continental U.S. waters and is the largest area set aside to protect sea turtle habitat in the United States or its territories.
(photo: ZA Photos)
Loggerhead turtles take 45 years to grow up
by Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC Nature
A female turtle, the researchers report in the journal Functional Ecology, will not start to lay eggs until she is 45.
This estimate, based on examination of several decades of data on the turtles’ growth, has implications for conservation efforts.
It reveals how long it takes for turtles hatched at a protected nesting site to return to that site to breed.
Prof Graeme Hays from the University of Swansea, one of the authors of the study, explained how reaching maturity so slowly meant that the turtle population was “less resilient” than previously thought.
sexyactionplanet: Baby Sea Turtle and Jelly
This may look like a bad idea but jellyfish are part of a healthy diet for some sea turtles! Unfortunately for many though, a floating plastic bag looks very similar to their favourite food. It is for this reason that plastic bags are said to be one of the biggest killers of marine turtles. In 2008, a post mortem was carried out on a baby green turtle hatchling who washed up dead on a beach in Queensland, Australia. It was found to have a perforated gut from ingesting plastic marine rubbish. Say NO to plastic bags!