Many leatherback nests found
In light of COVID-19 in Thailand, the government decided to bar people from entering beaches in an attempt to curb the infections.
As beaches in Phuket and Phang Nga became deserted, environmentalists discovered 11 leatherback sea turtle nests in the areas. It is the highest number of nests in the country in 2 decades, reported Reuters.
According to National Geographic, Leatherbacks are the largest sea turtles on earth and considered a vulnerable species worldwide.
More leatherbacks caught laying eggs
Image credit: Chiang Rai Times
Since January, many leatherbacks have been spotted laying eggs at beaches in the south of Thailand.
Thai authorities have proceeded to relocate them to a nursery, to protect them from thieves, before releasing the baby turtles to the sea once the eggs hatch.
Newly-hatched leatherback turtles at a beach in Phanga Nga
Image credit: Bangkok Post
In Thailand, leatherbacks are protected by the Wildlife Protection Act as they’re deemed to be an endangered species. Illegal possession of its eggs may lead to 3 to15 years in prison and/or ฿1 million fine.
Thailand’s beaches closed
Police patrolling at a closed beach in Phuket
Image credit: Matichon
Leatherbacks like to lay eggs in safe and quiet places. This explains why many of the nests are found during the lockdown.
Beaches in popular places like Phuket remain closed since late March with no opening dates set.
Let’s hope that after the pandemic, we can find a way to let these little buddies live in peace.
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