Saturday, April 27, 2013

Please help stop the slaughter of turtles in Bali

Please help stop the slaughter of turtles in Bali by signing these two petitions on Change.Org.
Each signature will be sent to the Governor of Bali and the Bali Tourist Board directly.
The slaughter is illegal under Government  Act No 7/1999, which prohibits the killing and trading  Sea Turtles !!
Sadly, the issue is now rising its ugly head again. In January 2013, local newspapers reported that the illegal turtle trade has returned, which has also been confirmed by local animal and environment protection organisations. These proves that the protection offered in Bali is totally insufficient and that the police are not pursuing violations against Act No 7/1999, which prohibits the killing of and dealing with sea turtles, and against the CITES regulations that prohibits the trade of turtle products.
The killing of these magnificent creatures is a GRUESOME, BARBARIC process!
The turtle's plastron is sliced and ripped open, the internal organs are being removed, blood is scooped out, and the head cut off. During this entire massacre, the poor turtle is alive and struggling in pain!
See video (Warning: VERY GRAPHIC):
Please speak up for Sea Turtles and sign our petition. By signing this petition, the message that you can read below will be sent instantly to the Government's Office in Bali as well as the Tourim Board of Bali.
 There are two petitions, one organized by PRO-FAUNA Indonesia and SOS-SEATURTLES, and the other by Occupy for Animals.  Please sign both and support the end of the turtle trade.  Thank you!

Links to the two Petitions:

SOS Seaturtles, Bali campaign
Occupy for Animals, Bali campaign
Thank you!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New law to protect Puerto Rico leatherback turtles

Leatherback turtle hatchlings make their way into the sea in Malaysia August 2004
Puerto Rico has introduced a new law protecting a swathe of the island's coast that has become a major nesting site for the world's largest turtle, the leatherback.

The Northeast Ecological Corridor comprises 14 sq km (5.4 sq miles) of the island's coast.
The law ends a 15-year battle which pitted developers against green activists and several celebrities.
Leatherback turtles are a highly endangered species.
"Today this important, highly ecologically valuable resource is being protected forever... History is being made," said Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, according to the island's Vocero news site.
Developers had been looking to build hotels, golf courses and luxury homes in the area, arguing that this would boost the local economy and create jobs.
But the area - boasting lush vegetation and pristine beaches - is now likely to become a centre for eco-tourism.
As well as being a nesting site for the leatherback turtle, the area is home to more than 860 different types of flora and fauna.
It also contains a bioluminescent bay, featuring micro-organisms which glow in the dark.
Leatherback turtles weigh around 600kg (95st) and their shells can be up to two metres (6ft 7in) long.
The shell is flexible and covered in a black leathery skin - hence the name leatherback.
Last August thousands of leatherback eggs and hatchlings were crushed by bulldozers moving waterlogged sand from key nesting areas.

original article:

Friday, April 12, 2013

World's largest turtle could be extinct in 20 years, scientists say

Leatherback sea turtle nesting.
Leatherback sea turtle nesting. / Owen Humphreys/PA Wire via AP Images

The world's largest turtle, the Pacific leatherback sea turtle, faces extinction over the next 20 years.
A team of scientist has documented a 78 percent decline in the number of nests of the leatherback sea turtle in the Pacific Ocean.
The study looked at leatherback sea turtle nests in a region that accounts for 75 percent of the total nesting in the western Pacific.
The results were startling and worrying for the animal named California's official marine reptile.
The number of animals nesting in the region had fallen from a peak of 14,455 in 1984, to 1,532 in 2011. Fewer than 500 nest at this site annually now.
The study was published online in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecosphere.
The species has been considered endangered since 1970.
Catherine Kilduff of the Centre for Biological Diversity said the study was ''a grim warning''.
''We're not doing enough to save leatherback sea turtles or their ocean home. The problems they face -- climate change, plastic pollution, fisheries that catch far more than fish -- are problems that threaten us, too," said Kilduff
Thane Wibbels, Ph.D., a professor of reproductive biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and member of a research team said the largest marine turtle in the world could soon vanish.
''If the decline continues, within 20 years it will be difficult if not impossible for the leatherback to avoid extinction," said Wibbels, who has studied marine turtles since 1980. "That means the number of turtles would be so low that the species could not make a comeback.
''The leatherback is one of the most intriguing animals in nature, and we are watching it head towards extinction in front of our eyes," added Wibbels.
Leatherback turtles can grow to six feet long and weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. They are able to dive to depths of nearly 4,000 feet and can make trans-Pacific migrations from Indonesia to the U.S. Pacific coast and back again.
The study identified four major problems facing leatherback turtles, nesting beach predators, such as pigs and dogs that eat the turtle eggs; rising sand temperatures that can kill the eggs or prevent the production of male hatchlings; the danger of being caught by fisheries during migrations; and the harvesting of adults and eggs for food by islanders.

See original article at: cbs news article leatherback turtles

Monday, April 8, 2013

In Costa Rica, Jaguars feast on endangered sea turtles

TORTUGUERO, Costa Rica -- A sole pair of sea turtle tracks is all that punctuates the serenity of sand along the protected beach on this Central American country’s Caribbean side.
The turtle made it out of the ocean to a preferred nesting spot -- but never made it back. It was the first turtle researchers found killed by a jaguar of the 2013 nesting season.
Tortuguero National Park, in Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean slope region, has one of the world’s most important nesting beaches for the endangered green turtle. Scientists say 15,000 to 20,000 of them crawl ashore here each year for a nesting season that lasts from May to October.
Even the name Tortuguero is taken by some to mean "turtle area" -- yet it could also translate as "turtle catcher" -- but this park is just one stop-off in the creatures' epic migration from feeding spots to nest areas.
Now, they’re sharing this quiet slice of paradise with a ferocious new neighbor that’s making the mission harder for some to complete.
Tortuguero has become a hotspot for jaguars, the largest cat in the Americas, and they're proving to be nimble turtle catchers.
The jaguar is a near-threatened species, according to the nonprofit International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species; although, in some Latin American countries, jaguars have vanished entirely.
Tortuguero park rangers say 10 years ago they never saw a jaguar on their beach. Now it’s virtually crawling with them: Researchers say they’ve identified 16 jaguars in the park, and estimate that the big cats kill about 1 percent of the turtles nesting here.
Stephanny Arroyo, 31, who studies wildlife conservation at the National University of Costa Rica, has been researching the elusive cats for the past year, along with staff and volunteers of Global Vision International (GVI) and support from the national park and the nonprofit Panthera.
They set camera traps at areas considered high-traffic spots for jaguars, which helps in identifying and distinguishing the cats. But their photos and video footage show more than just unique fur spots. Their findings reveal the jaguars are acting unlike any jaguar these researchers have ever heard of.

Jaguars, so happy together

Jaguars are known for living a solitary life, roaming a radius of at least 14 square miles by themselves.
Not in Tortuguero. Here 16 jaguars are sharing 100 square miles, and, the researchers say, they are oddly social: they eat together, travel together and play together.
“I was certain that Tortuguero was special for something,” Arroyo said. “The behavior [of the jaguars] is unique and the quantity of individuals in such a small area is also unique.”
One explanation under examination is the area's unusual abundance of turtles. The bounty of turtle meat for half the year means jaguars might not feel the need to compete for food, according to Arroyo. With hunting made easy, these beasts could be less bothered to stake out their own territory to roam solo.
“For example,” Arroyo said, “to see two males walking together or three males walking together is something that has never been seen before, or a male and a female walking together is something that wasn't known.” In Tortuguero, she said, that's what's happening.
Still, she and her colleagues are working to get to the bottom of this. And the more the jaguars amaze them, the more questions arise. Where are they coming from? Where do they go when the turtles are gone?

Read original story in the Alaska Dispatch: