03 Feb Historical: 38 sea turtles of the Leatherback species are born
On January 24 of this year, a historical moment was presented in Ecuador, more specifically on the Punta Bikini beach of the Sucre canton, the birth of 38 sea turtles of the Leatherback species (Dermochelys coriácea) was registered, the largest specimen of the planet, inhabits tropical, subtropical and sub-arctic temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, it can measure up to three meters in wingspan and weigh up to one ton, and are in a state of preservation due to the threat of other animals at the moment from their birth, in addition to the eggs they are collected by people on the surrounding islands and probably elsewhere. Beach reshaping can disrupt or destroy the particular type of habitat leather turtles need for nesting, and city lights can cause hatchlings to drift away from the sea rather than toward it. Human use of beaches can destroy nests and clutches or bury eggs too deep for hatchlings to emerge. Finally, humans can harm nesting females out of curiosity.
“This event marks an environmental milestone, since it is the result of an important joint work between representatives of national and international organizations, in addition, we see the fruits of a daily monitoring management and the execution of learned techniques that allow us to comply with the conservation objective of these critically endangered leatherbacks”, said Cristian Soledispa, administrator of the Isla Corazón y Fragatas Wildlife Refuge.
Since 1983, in Ecuador there have been no records of births of the leatherback turtle, the largest species in the world, according to Roddy Macías, project manager on the continental coast of Ecuador of the Wild Aid organization, thanks to the implementation of scientific knowledge and the experience of specialists who carried out a first work of artificial incubation of 12 eggs where the state of the embryos was monitored until their hatching; the remaining eggs were monitored in the nest.
The reproduction index of the leatherback turtle is the lowest of the sea turtle species, since only 50% of the eggs hatch, which is why this State portfolio makes the necessary efforts to guarantee that the nest completes the incubation cycle.
The turtles were released at some distance from the sea to fulfill their natural biological process after being examined and taking the respective tests.