Ecuador has seen nine leatherback turtles born on the beach of Punta Bikini, in the western province of Manabi.
Relayed by AFP, citing a press release from the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment, this is excellent news for this species of sea turtle, the largest in the world, which is currently on the brink of extinction.
Nine reptiles were born from the 20 artificially incubated eggs. The nest had been moved in January due to the difficult winter in the region. The turtles were released in the same location.
An endangered species
This is the second time this type of operation has been carried out. Last January, 60 leatherback turtles were born in the province of Manabi. This is a real victory and a step forward for the species. In this region, only 50% of eggs hatch. In general, the number of hatchlings has fallen considerably since 1980, the press release said.
This new birth has allowed us to determine that we can artificially achieve a high hatching rate for these turtles, which is an important step for Ecuador in terms of conservation.
The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a reptile that can grow up to ten feet long and weigh one tonne. It is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with a specific listing for the Eastern Pacific where it is classified as Critically Endangered.