The Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle is an endangered species of sea turtle that is native to the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest sea turtle in the world. They can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. They are found in the waters off the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington.
There are an estimated 3,000-5,000 adult Pacific Leatherback turtles remaining in the wild, and their numbers are declining. The main reasons for their decline are commercial fishing, coastal development, and climate change.
The Pacific Leatherback turtle is the largest sea turtle in the world, reaching up to 7 feet in length and 2,000 pounds in weight. Leatherbacks are unique among sea turtles in that they do not have a hard shell. Instead, their shell is covered with a leathery skin. This makes them faster and more agile in the water than other turtles. It also makes them more vulnerable to being caught by fishermen. They are also the deepest diving sea turtle, capable of reaching depths of 3,000 feet.
The Pacific Leatherback turtle spends most of its life in the open ocean, only coming to shore to lay eggs. They typically nest on tropical beaches, and the female turtles will lay up to 100 eggs per nest. The eggs incubate for about 60 days before hatching, and the hatchlings then make their way to the ocean.
Only about 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood, due to predators, disease, and other risks. Once they reach adulthood, Pacific Leatherback turtles can live for up to 30 years.
Sadly, the main threat to Pacific Leatherback turtles is humans. Commercial fishing is the biggest threat, as the turtles often get caught in fishing nets and lines. They are also hunted for their meat and shells, which are used in traditional medicines.
Coastal development is another major threat to these turtles. As beaches are developed for tourism, the turtles lose their nesting sites. Climate change is also a threat to these turtles, as rising sea levels and ocean temperatures can impact their nesting sites and food sources.
The Pacific Leatherback turtle is an amazing animal that is sadly declining in numbers due to human activity. We need to do what we can to protect these turtles and their habitat.