The Leatherback Turtle

By Katherine Martin

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The leatherback turtle, or dermochelys coriacea, is found in the coastal plains region of NC. The leatherback turtle is endangered for multiple reasons. One of the main reasons is that they build their nests on the coastlines and as the coast lines are developed, they lose the habitat to build nests. They also become caught in commercial shrimp nets and suffocate. In Malaysia, the leatherback eggs are harvested for food and in some countries, they are hunted for its oil and flesh. One of their main food sources are jellyfish. The problem is that they can't distinguish between jellyfish and clear plastic bags, so they eat these plastic bags and die. Protection of the crucial nesting habitats and Turtle Excluder Devices are being used in an attempt to protect these animals.