Tomorrow, October 15, is California’s first official Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day!
Just last year, the Pacific leatherback sea turtle was designated California’s official marine reptile and now, Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day will be held every year on October 15, which coincides with the peak season for leatherbacks feeding on jellyfish along the CA coastline. They swim 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to feed on those jellyfish! According to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, there have been 16 leatherback sightings along the Central California coast this season.
As many as 300 endangered leatherbacks can be found searching for jellyfish along the CA coastline, one of the few safe havens for this endangered species. In a huge conservation victory, 42,000 square miles of ocean along the U.S. West Coast was designated as protected critical habitat. The CA coast contains 16,910 square miles of that protected critical habitat.
The leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest, deepest diving and fastest swimming out of the seven sea turtle species. They are also the most threatened; their population has declined by about 95 percent in the last 25 years, primarily due to human activities such as poaching, pollution, and habitat destruction.
To support Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day, consider taking the pledge!
To learn more, check out some of these links:
- October 15 – Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day in California!
- Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Fact Sheet
- From Indonesia to California – Protecting Pacific Leatherback Turtles
- Gearing Up for the First Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day!
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.