Leatherback Sea Turtles
have been here for over 65 million years. They have witnessed the fall of the dinosaurs and the rise of humanity. Their habitat spans the globe from the North Atlantic near the Arctic Circle to the South Pacific around New Zealand. Extraordinary creatures, they hold important secrets about biology and medicine. Leatherbacks are the largest turtle, reaching a shell length of 1.7m and a mass of 700kg. In 1980 there were over 115,000 adult females, but there are now less than 25,000 worldwide, and they are close to extinction in the Pacific Ocean. If action is not taken soon to protect leatherbacks in the ocean and on nesting beaches the leatherback will disappear in our lifetime.

All the Earth’s seven sea turtle species are endangered. The United States waters are home to six of the species, including the Gulf of Mexico, where the 2010 BP oil spill devastated much of the turtle population. Fishing, climate change, tourist density and coastal manufacturing have been closing in on the habitats of turtles throughout the last century and actions of conservationists like our guest, Drexel University biologist and ecologist JIM SPOTILA, help to slow the decline of turtles in the 21st century. Spotilia has been working over 30 years in turtle conservation and his new book is Saving Sea Turtles: Extraordinary Stories from the Battle Against Extinction, which tells stories of saving turtles from egg poaching; limiting coastal development; establishing laws and enforcing oil drilling safely in the world’s oceans; and eating less wild marine life. 


Photo by George Shillinger

On Saturday, at our Eighth Annual Leatherback Turtle Festival, the Governor of Puerto Rico Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed into law the permanent protection of the Northeast Ecological Corridor as a Nature Reserve. This three party measure was passed unanimously by both houses of the local legislature and represents the culmination of 15 years of work by the community

Click to read more

Threat to Las Baulas Park and the Leatherback turtle
 - It died in Committee

The battle over President Arias’s latest bill that would eliminate the park was fast and furious. The uproar in Costa Rica was heard around the world and thousands of people and many international conservation organizations joined in to protect the park. The fight reached a crescendo in the final week of the Congressional session before a new government took office after the national election in February. On April 29th hundreds of Ticos came out to the National Assembly along with all of the national media. Channel 7, the major TV station, ran a story the night before and we and our conservation allies took out a major ad in the newspaper. In the face of this display and a poll showing that 89% of the voters opposed the bill, the Environmental Commission held one last hearing and decided there was not enough time to vote on the proposed bill. 
Yes- it died in committee!!

Conservation Allies Newspaper Ad

Voice of the Leatherback Turtles ezine
This 28 page ezine is the definitive compilation of the efforts of so many who have contributed to the groundswell of support in favor of preserving Las Baulas National Park and protecting the Leatherback sea turtle. It is most likely the first time this relatively new format has been used in this manner and it is a very powerful tool that can now be added to the arsenal of the conservation movement.

Go to the Voice of the Leatherback Turtles ezine

Beautiful Sea Turtle Artwork Now Available
Jeanette Chupack is offering her beautiful paintings and prints of Green Sea Turtles for sale with proceeds to benefit the Leatherback Trust. Jeanette won first place in the Utrecht 60th anniversary Painting Competition, juried by the American Artist Magazine

To learn more and to order..

The Great Turtle Race II, 
Sponsored in part by The Leatherback Trust. 
Follow 11 leatherback turtles on a two-week journey as
they swim from their nesting sites on Playa Grande beach
in Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands.
Learn more...

Leatherback Trust products now available at Zazzle
Your purchases help support the work of the Leatherback Trust... click below...

Buy Leatherback products at Zazzle

What can one person do to save leatherbacks? 
Maybe you could write books. Or start a lemonade stand to raise money. Or perhaps you could give talks at local schools and events to raise awareness. How about organizing an Earth Day event and raising money? Well, one person has already done ALL of those things, and she's still only 7 years old. Read more about the inspiring Meghan Taschenberger...

Recommended Reading
Turtle Summer is a delightful book about sea turtles and sea life written by award winning author Mary Alice Monroe and with photos by Barbara J. Bergwerf. Aimed at young readers and those young at heart it tells the story of loggerhead turtle nesting and the efforts by turtle people to protect their nests and their hatchlings. It includes many lovely pictures of sea life and birds along the Carolina shore. A must read for all those who summer at the Shore. Learn more...

Johnny Glidden, Sea Turtle Champion
Johnny Glidden first became aware of the plight of the sea turtle during a family trip to Hawaii in 2004. By age 7, it had become his mission to save the Leatherback, after reading Dr. James Spotila’s book, Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior and ConservationLearn more about this amazing young champion's efforts to help the leatherback...

Save the Leatherback Campaign
More than 1,000 scientists call for U.N. ban on longlining in the Pacific – U.N. General Assembly adopts resolution to benefit endangered turtles. Read Details (PDF), or learn more at SeaTurtles.org

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