Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle

Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle

new state marine reptile of California?

The Pacific leatherback sea turtle is on its way to becoming the official marine reptile of California. The bill, which was introduced last week, would also make October 15th the official conservation day for the Pacific leatherback sea turtle. The day would be used to educate school children of the importance of preserving the sea creature. Unfortunately, the turtles have been on the endangered species list since 1970, but the numbers continue to drop. In fact, since the 1980s, the Pacific leather back turtle numbers have dropped by 95%.

The dropping numbers are due, in large, to hunting. Large commercial fishing and pollution also contribute to the decreasing species. The turtles were once hunted for their meat and eggs. Thankfully, the Federal Government has recently taken it upon themselves to set aside 41,000 square miles, located across the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, for leatherback sea turtle conservation.

This specific type of sea turtle is the largest known to man. It can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and get to be 8 feet long! They have been in existence for at least 100 million years. The Pacific leatherback sea turtle is also known for having the longest migration ever recorded. They travel thousands of miles across the Pacific in order the lay their eggs each year. Any creature that goes through all that to carry on the population deserves a little help from all of us.

If you would like to help the Pacific leatherback sea turtle bounce back from near extinction, you can visit the website for the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. This site also has a list of things you can do daily to help restore sea turtle populations. All donations are helpful and will be used to research and implement conservation efforts for this magnificent creature.