A staggering number of baby Olive Ridley sea turtles were recently released into the Gulf of California thanks to the ongoing pandemic.
Even though the ongoing global pandemic has had a negative impact on humanity, it has proven to be a blessing in disguise for the nature. Many species that were endangered earlier are no more endangered. Pollution levels have decreased by a great deal. Hence, mother nature as a whole is recovering.
Recently, a whopping 2,250 baby Olive Ridley sea turtles were released into the Gulf of California. For comparison, normally around 500 of the rare sea creatures are released each year.
However, this time, due to limited human activity around the eggs, the baby turtles were able to hatch undisturbed. Hence, more of them survived. Typically, the nests are disturbed by tourists and fishermen.
The newborn babies were released in the ocean by the indigenous Seri community in Sonora state. This particular species of turtles is usually found in warmer waters and can often be located in the southern Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Although the turtles are in abundance as compared to the likes of sea turtles, they are still classed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List and listed as ‘threatened’ in the US.
They have been classed as vulnerable because of a 50 percent decrease in the turtle population since the 1960s.
There are numerous laws in place to protect the species. Yet, according to the WWF, some of the biggest threats these turtles face are human activities such as poaching.
“Olive Ridleys face serious threats across their migratory route, habitat and nesting beaches, due to human activities such as turtle unfriendly fishing practices, development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports, and tourist centers.
Though international trade in these turtles and their products is banned under CITES Appendix I, they are still extensively poached for their meat, shell and leather, and their eggs, though illegal to harvest, have a significantly large market around the coastal regions.
The most severe threat they face is the accidental killing of adult turtles through entanglement in trawl nets and gill nets due to uncontrolled fishing during their mating season around nesting beaches.”
These eggs and hatchlings are also prey for many animals. With this in mind, it demonstrates how significant it is that 2,250 of the turtles were successfully released into the ocean.
Also read: Two Highly Endangered Clouded Leopard Kittens Birthed at the Zoo Miami.
Article and Image Source: Unilad