California approves new protection for leatherback turtles

In this July 30, 1999 file photo, Michael Coffman of the Marine Mammals Center is inspecting an endangered leatherback turtle ashore in Pismo Beach, California. A giant leatherback turtle was found dead floating on a kelp bed. The California Fish and Wildlife Commission resolved on Thursday, October 14, 2021 to add leatherback turtles to the state’s Endangered Species Act.Credits: AP Photo / Phil Klein, File

California has added Pacific leatherback turtles to its list of endangered species, guaranteeing more protection against rapidly declining populations.

The California Fish and Wildlife Commission resolved on Thursday to add turtles under the state’s Endangered Species Act.

The largest turtle species in the world was in the federal government Endangered Species List Since 1973. But according to Catherine Kirduff, a lawyer at the Center for Biodiversity, scientists now know more about how important California is to their survival.

Leatherback turtle subpopulation Sea turtle Hatches on Indonesian beaches. When fully grown, they swim about 6,000 miles (9,656 kilometers) off California to eat jellyfish. Adult leatherback turtles weigh an average of 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms).

Scientists say these sea turtles have declined by about 5.6% each year in California over the last three decades. According to the Biodiversity Center, about 50 sea turtles visit the California coast each year, compared to about 178 sea turtles in the 1990s.

Adding turtles to California’s Endangered Species list prioritizes turtle protection for state agencies. It will also strengthen state cooperation with federal agencies to protect sea turtle populations.

“Leatherback turtles that feed on jellyfish off the coast of California will be better protected from entanglements within the state. Fishing equipment“We hope that this action will put these ancient calm giants on the path to recovery,” said Todd Steiner, executive director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Endangered leatherback turtle hatches in Ecuador

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California approves new protection for leatherback turtles

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