Many leatherback nests found 

Rare Sea Turtles Nest

Image adapted from: Sea Turtle Status and Chiang Rai Times

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 

leatherbacks lay 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.  

baby leatherbacks thailand

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

covid-19 lockdown closed phuket beach

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. 

Also read:

Enjoying The Smart Local Thailand? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all things Thailand