2. Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

Leatherback Turtles

Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are the largest of living sea turtles weighing as much as 900 kg. Adult leatherback turtles are excellent swimmers – they swim on an average of 45-65 km a day, travel upto 15,000 km per year and can dive as deep as 1200 m.

Jelly fish are their primary prey. The population spikes of leatherbacks coincide with abundance of
jelly fish, making them important top-predators in marine environments.

CONSERVATION STATUS: Critically Endangered

HABITAT: Tropical and subtropical oceans.

DISTRIBUTION: Found in tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

THREATS: High sea fi shing operations, harvesting of eggs, destruction of nests by wild species
and domesticated species such as cats, dogs and pigs. Artifi cial lighting disorients hatchlings and
adult and causes them to migrate inland rather than back to the sea. Threats to habitat include
construction, mining and plantation of exotics.

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