Leatherbacks Now Listed as ‘Vulnerable’

Written by on December 2, 2013 in Marine Life, Sea Turtles

Daily Summary

Leatherback sea turtle.

Leatherback sea turtle. Photo credit: NOAA.

Leatherback sea turtle no longer Critically Endangered
The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was recently moved from the IUCN Red List category of Critically Endangered to Vulnerable. The decision came after an assessment found that populations in the Atlantic are benefiting from conservation measures. The leatherback populations in the Pacific are less fortunate. Their numbers, both on the east and west coasts, have dropped dramatically over the last few generations. The assessment notes that current efforts to protect leatherbacks must be maintained in order to protect the Pacific populations and sustain the growth of Atlantic populations.

Marine reserves enhance resilience to climate change
A new study found that fish communities in marine reserves may be better able to resist the impacts of climate change than fish communities on coasts where fishing is allowed. By examining fish community responses to short – and long-term environmental changes, researchers found that marine reserves can “build community resilience.” The researchers also noted an increase in the number of herbivorous fish in both the reserve and the fished sites.

Secrets of the legless, leaping land fish
New research reveals that the legless, leaping fish that lives on land uses camouflage to avoid attacks from birds, lizards, crabs, and other predators. These fish spend their whole adult lives on rocks in the splash zone but still require water to breathe through their gills. By measuring the color of five different populations of Pacific leaping blenny, Alticus arnoldorum, researchers found that their colors were identical to the rocks on which they lived.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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