The Endangered

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtle

The Leatherback Sea Turtle has lived for more than a hundred million years, but is now facing extinction. Recent estimates of numbers show that the Leatherback Sea Turtle is declining precipitously. The Pacific population of Leatherback Sea Turtles has suffered most over the last twenty years. As of today, 2,300 adult females are now remaining, making the Leatherback Sea Turtle the world's most endangered turtle population.

What are the main threats for Leatherback Sea Turtles?

These main threats are...

  • Habitat loss
  • Wildlife trade
  • Collection of eggs and meat for consumption
  • Incidental capture
  • Climate change
  • Pollution

why they matter

Turtles are the living in a group of reptiles that has lived on Earth and traveled our seas for the last 100 million years. They are a fundamental link in ocean ecosystems.
Leatherback Sea turtles feast on large numbers of jellyfish which helps them to keep populations of these organisms in check. Turtles, including leatherbacks, also provide a source of income as a draw for ecotourism in coastal communities, especially in the Coral Triangle.

Where can you find Leatherback Sea turtles?

You can find them throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. In the Pacific, their range expands as far north as Alaska and south beyond the southern tip of New Zealand.
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How do they get their name?

Leatherbacks are named for their hard, oil-saturated, rubbery skin, which is strengthened by a mosaic; of small bones beneath the skin. This gives the Leatherback Sea Turtle a leathery appearance and feel. Leatherbacks are the only sea turtle species that lack scales and a hard shell.

Cited Websites

Noaa’S National Marine Fisheries Service, Office Of Protected


.Volume I, Issue 3 Leatherback Sea Turtle (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

"Leatherback Turtle." World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016