Leatherback sea turtle found dead in Camarines Sur
LEGAZPI CITY – A leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was found dead off the shores of Balatan town in Camarines Sur province on Thursday morning.
The marine reptile was spotted by a fisherman floating around 10 a.m. in Barangay (village) Luluwasan, Janice Barrientos, agriculture technologist at Balatan’s Fisheries, said.
“They pulled and checked the turtle and found out it [was] already lifeless,” she said.
The turtle weighed about 200 kilograms and was 7.2 meters long.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Bicol spokesperson Nonie Enolva said they would conduct necropsy to determine the cause of death of the turtle.
“My theory is that the cause of death might be (either) due to old age, ailment, boat strike, predation, [had] eaten trash, or drowning due to strong current of waves brought by ‘habagat’ (southwest monsoon),” she said.
The Leatherback was named for its unique “leathery” shell, which is composed of a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin, strengthened by thousands of tiny bone plates.
It is listed as endangered under the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act and classified as vulnerable in 2013 (facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources./lb
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