These are the Olive Ridley, Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead and the Leatherback turtles. While other sea turtle species almost always return to their hatching beach, leatherbacks may choose another beach within the region. Leatherback turtles have the most hydrodynamic body design of any sea turtle, with a large, teardrop-shaped body. The Green turtle feeds on sea grass beds. The carapace is dark grey or black with white or pale spots, while the plastron is …  Off the northeastern coast of the South American continent, a few select beaches between French Guiana and Suriname are primary nesting sites of several species of sea turtles, the majority being leatherbacks. , Adult D. coriacea turtles subsist almost entirely on jellyfish. One female may lay as many as nine clutches in one breeding season. IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1 – ENGLISH & हिंदी): UPSC Mains Answer Writing – General Studies Paper 2 Questions [20th JANUARY,2021] – Day 9  The dermochelyids are relatives of the family Cheloniidae, which contains the other six extant sea turtle species. Leatherback sea turtles are considered an endangered species worldwide, and some populations have undergone a precipitous decline over the last two decades. The group, made up of both youth and elders from the tribe, is called Grupo Tortuguero Comaac. This mock test has 10 questions on random topics from our UPSC Prelims Test Series archives and current affairs.  While nesting beaches have been identified in the region, leatherback populations in the Indian Ocean remain generally unassessed and unevaluated. They are considered vulnerable under the IUCN red list of threatened species The turtles lay their eggs in quiet and dark areas. 14.4 Thailand beaches lure Leatherback sea turtles 110 ... 16.50 Sample UPSC Prelims Questions 116 17.Answer key 133 . Adult leatherbacks also traverse as far north as Canada and Norway and as far south as New Zealand and South America. In the Atlantic, females tagged in French Guiana have been recaptured on the other side of the ocean in Morocco and Spain. The largest turtle, the leatherback sea turtle, can have a shell length of 80 inches. The passing of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 ratified its status. Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat. Leatherback Turtles and Oliver Ridley Turtles have been classified as “Vulnerable”. Dermochelys coriacea is the only species in genus Dermochelys. A leatherback's top shell (carapace) is about 1.5 inches thick and consists of leathery, oil-saturated connective tissue overlaying loosely interlocking dermal bones. The eggs hatch in about 60 to 70 days. The temperature inside the nest determines the sex of the hatchlings. The leatherback turtle is a species with a cosmopolitan global range. Some individuals have been found to have almost 11 pounds of plastic in their stomachs. , They are also a major jellyfish predator, which helps keep populations in check. Migration occurs between the cold waters where mature leatherbacks feed, to the tropical and subtropical beaches in the regions where they hatch. In order to maintain a 50:50 ratio of male and female in the population, a temperature of 29.2 degrees Celsius is pivotal. Many turtles can retract their head and limbs into their shell for protection. Instead of scutes, it has thick, leathery skin with embedded minuscule osteoderms. Many leatherbacks meet an early end due to human activity. The Seri people devote ceremonies and fiestas to the turtle when one is caught and then released back into the environment.  In 2008, two turtles nested at Rantau Abang, and unfortunately, the eggs were infertile. , Both the turtle's common and scientific names come from the leathery texture and appearance of its carapace (Dermochelys coriacea literally translates to "Leathery Skin-turtle"). Adult leatherbacks have been found with core body temperatures that were 18 °C (32 °F) above the water in which they were swimming. Some reports claim "30 years or more", while others state "50 years or more".  Leatherbacks follow their jellyfish prey throughout the day, resulting in turtles "preferring" deeper water in the daytime, and shallower water at night (when the jellyfish rise up the water column). One cause for their endangered state is plastic bags floating in the ocean. Five species of sea turtles are known to inhabit Indian coastal waters and islands. Ridges along the carapace help give it a more hydrodynamic structure. Several species of sea turtles commonly ingest plastic marine debris, and even small quantities of debris can kill sea turtles by obstructing their digestive tracts.  Pollution, both chemical and physical, can also be fatal.  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/l/leatherback-sea-turtle.html. A small turtle may be only 3 inches long. They are also the only sea turtle with a soft, rubbery shell. Like other sea turtles, the leatherback has flattened forelimbs adapted for swimming in the open ocean. Scientists tracked a leatherback turtle that swam from Jen Womom beach of Tambrauw Regency in West Papua of Indonesia to the U.S. in a 20,000 km (12,000 mi) foraging journey over a period of 647 days. The leatherback is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans, and its range extends well into the Arctic Circle. FAMILY: Dermochelyidae STATUS: Endangered throughout its range (Federal Register, June 2, 1970). However, only a few beaches on both sides of the Atlantic provide nesting sites. , Cleavage of the cell begins within hours of fertilization, but development is suspended during the gastrulation period of movements and infoldings of embryonic cells, while the eggs are being laid. Biodiversity of India. About nine days pass between nesting events. Once they enter the water, they become prey to predatory fish and cephalopods. This in turn helps maintain healthy fish stocks in the oceans. In 1996, a drowned carcass held sarcophagid and calliphorid flies after being picked open by a pair of Coragyps atratus vultures. The leatherback sea turtle is subject to differing conservation laws in various countries. A dead leatherback sea turtle found floating between Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard was taken yesterday to the New England Aquarium Animal … Mayumba National Park in Gabon, Central Africa, was created to protect Africa's most important nesting beach. The foundation established a sanctuary in Costa Rica, the Parque Marino Las Baulas.. They are the largest sea turtle species and also one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. coriacea.  In Canada, the Species at Risk Act made it illegal to exploit the species in Canadian waters. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- While little research has been done on Dermochelys populations in the Indian Ocean, nesting populations are known from Sri Lanka and the Nicobar Islands. Several Caribbean countries started conservation programs, such as the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, focused on using ecotourism to highlight the leatherback's plight. Turtle populations could improve seagrass ecosystem health by removing seagrass biomass and preventing sediment formation. , The Leatherback Trust was founded specifically to conserve sea turtles, specifically its namesake. Leatherbacks undertake the longest migrations between breeding and feeding areas of any sea turtle, averaging 3,700 miles each way. In the eastern Pacific alone, a reported average of 1,500 mature females were accidentally caught annually in the 1990s. Leatherbacks can dive to depths of 4,200 feetâdeeper than any other turtleâand can stay down for up to 85 minutes. UPSC Daily Current Affairs 08-December-2020. , Leatherback turtles face many predators in their early lives. Sea turtles, especially the leatherback, keep jellyfish under control.  Ingestion of marine debris and slowed nutrient gain leads to increased time for sexual maturation that may affect future reproductive behaviors. Nests are raided by humans in places such as Southeast Asia.  In the Caribbean, the mean size of adults was reported at 384 kg (847 lb) in weight and 1.55 m (5.1 ft) in CCL.  Similarly, those nesting in French Guiana, weighed an average of 339.3 kg (748 lb) and measured 1.54 m (5.1 ft) in CCL. , Leatherbacks have been viewed as unique among extant reptiles for their ability to maintain high body temperatures using metabolically generated heat, or endothermy.  It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys and family Dermochelyidae.  Further north, off the Pacific coast of Canada, leatherbacks visit the beaches of British Columbia. Leatherbacks have a unique, warm-bodied physiology and a different type of carapace than “hard shelled” sea turtles. Their shell is composed of two pieces, the top, or carapace, and the bottom, or plastron. , Their favored breeding beaches are mainland sites facing the deep water, and they seem to avoid those sites protected by coral reefs. , The continental United States offers two major Pacific leatherback feeding areas. Parismina is an isolated sandbar where a large number of leatherbacks lay eggs, but poachers abound. It swims around the globe, crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and travelling as far north as Alaska and Norway and as far south as the most southern point of New Zealand, South America and South Africa. Average clutch size is around 110 eggs, 85% of which are viable.  In January 2010, one female at Pontal do Paraná laid hundreds of eggs. Leatherbacks have the widest global distribution of all reptile species, and possibly of any vertebrate. The eastern Pacific population forages in the Southern Hemisphere, in waters along the western coast of South America, nesting in Mexico, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The adult green sea turtle is a herbivore, dining on seagrasses, seaweeds, algae and other forms of marine plant life. Founded in 1990, American Tortoise Rescue is the founding sponsor of World Turtle Day. This polyandry does not provide the offspring with any special advantages.. The leatherback is the largest turtle in the world, and has a primarily black rubbery skin with pinkish-white coloring on its underside. (All others have hard, bony-plated shells.) , Rather than using a high resting metabolism, leatherbacks appear to take advantage of a high activity rate. , The turtle is known to be of cultural significance to tribes all over the world. Unlike their reptilian relatives, leatherbacks are able to maintain warm body temperatures in cold water by using a unique set of adaptations that allows them to both generate and retain body heat. , Mating takes place at sea. Sea Turtles. While all other sea turtles have hard, bony shells, the inky-blue carapace of the leatherback is somewhat flexible and almost rubbery to the touch. They nest towards the dark and then return to the ocean and the light. As a pelagic species, D. coriacea is occasionally caught as bycatch. They use both traditional ecological knowledge and Western technology to help manage the turtle populations and protect the turtle's natural environment.. The nighttime ritual involves excavating a hole in the sand, depositing around 80 eggs, filling the nest, leaving a large, disturbed area of sand that makes detection by predators difficult, and finally returning to the sea. A high level of phthalates has been measured in their eggs' yolks. In The Biology of Sea Turtles by Peter L. Lutz and John A. Musick. Directly, a few are caught for their meat by subsistence fisheries. [needs update]. Seven distinct ridges rise from the carapace, crossing from the cranial to caudal margin of the turtle's back. This subpopulation, however, has effectively been eradicated. Males can mate every year but the females mate every two to three years. North Sentinel Island is home to one of the most isolated palaeolithic tribes (Sentinelese) of the world. Pacific leatherback sea turtles mistake these plastic bags for jellyfish; an estimated one-third of adults have ingested plastic. It is also the site of one of the most important nesting beaches for endangered leatherback turtles, enormous reptiles that can weigh a ton and dive deeper than many whales. Of all the extant sea turtle species, D. coriacea has the widest distribution, reaching as far north as Alaska and Norway and as far south as Cape Agulhas in Africa and the southernmost tip of New Zealand. Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) travel thousands of kilometres between temperate feeding and tropical breeding/over-wintering grounds, with adult turtles able to pinpoint specific nesting beaches after multi-year absences.Their extensive migrations often occur in oceanic habitat where limited known sensory information is available to aid in orientation. , Many human activities indirectly harm Dermochelys populations. Example: Indian tiger, African elephant, giant panda of China, the leatherback sea turtle, etc. The major cause of the decline was egg consumption by humans. Some Pacific populations have disappeared entirely from certain areas, such as Malaysia. In order to maintain a 50:50 ratio of male and female in the population, a temperature of 29.2 degrees Celsius is pivotal. Their flesh contains too much oil and fat to be considered palatable, reducing the demand. Its carapace is large, elongated and flexible with 7 distinct ridges running the length of the animal. On this research project, Dr. Dennis Sammy of Nature Seekers and Dr. Scott Eckert of Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network work alongside a team of volunteers to help prevent the extinction of leatherback sea turtles.. Leatherback turtles are named for their shell, which is leather-like rather than hard, like other turtles.  In Malaysia, where the turtle is practically locally extinct, the eggs are considered a delicacy. It only became known in the 1980s that sea turtles undergo temperature-dependent sex determination; it is suspected that nearly all the artificially incubated hatchlings were female. Leatherback Turtle in Northwest Atlantic has been classified as “Endangered”. In order to maintain a 50:50 ratio of males and females in the population, a temperature of 29.2 degrees Celsius is pivotal. , They are also the fastest-moving non-avian reptiles.  Upper estimates exceed 100 years. Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 lists D. coriacea as vulnerable, while Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992 lists it as endangered. Females excavate a nest above the high-tide line with their flippers. Initial studies on their metabolic rates found leatherbacks had resting metabolisms around three times higher than expected for reptiles of their size. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell, hence the name. Coupled with their countercurrent heat exchangers, insulating fat covering, and large size, leatherbacks are able to maintain high temperature differentials compared to the surrounding water. , Recent estimates of global nesting populations are that 26,000 to 43,000 females nest annually, which is a dramatic decline from the 115,000 estimated in 1980. Conservation efforts initiated in the 1960s were ineffective because they involved excavating and incubating eggs at artificial sites which inadvertently exposed the eggs to high temperatures. They nest at night when the risk of predation and heat stress is lowest. Despite their lack of a hard shell, the huge adults face fewer serious predators, though they are occasionally overwhelmed and preyed on by very large marine predators such as killer whales, great white sharks, and tiger sharks. Leatherbacks are World Travelers. The contrast between this dark forest and the brighter, moonlit ocean provides directionality for the females. After mating at sea, females come ashore during the breeding season to nest. The Green turtle feeds on sea grass beds and by cropping the grass provide a nursery for numerous species of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Organisms from more than a dozen families took part in consuming the carcass. Since 1998, the village has been assisting turtles with a hatchery program. Red Sea Turtles.  In Dominica, patrollers from DomSeTCo protect leatherback nesting sites from poachers. There are five turtle species in Indian waters — Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley. The entire turtle's dorsal surface is colored dark grey to black, with a scattering of white blotches and spots. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have India’s best nesting beaches for three species of marine turtles – Hawksbill, Green turtle and world’s largest sea turtle, the Leatherback.  In the state of Florida, there have been 603 leatherback strandings between 1980 and 2014. , Leatherback sea turtles can be found primarily in the open ocean. (32.72 °F).  These turtles have the highest risk of encountering and ingesting plastic bags offshore of San Francisco Bay, the Columbia River mouth, and Puget Sound. The leatherback was then reclassified as Dermochelys coriacea. Sea Turtles. While all other sea turtles have hard, bony shells, the inky-blue carapace of the leatherback is somewhat flexible and almost rubbery to the touch. Sea turtles, especially the leatherback, keep jellyfish under control, thereby helping to maintain healthy fish stocks in the oceans.  Nutrient dilution, which occurs when plastics displace food in the gut, affects the nutrient gain and consequently the growth of sea turtles. , People around the world still harvest sea turtle eggs. In the 24 years, I have been working with 7 Seas Whale Watch I have only seen one twice (three times if you include a sighting of a deceased individual on Jeffrey’s Ledge). Leatherback sea turtle conservation has not had the same level of ongoing management.  Leatherback turtles are known to pursue prey deeper than 1000 m—beyond the physiological limits of all other diving tetrapods except for beaked whales and sperm whales. The last official count of nesting leatherback females in Brazil yielded only seven females. Accordingly, there are no prescribed management actions for reducing leatherback sea turtle entanglements, nor are there target levels of reductions in takes. Female hatchlings that make it to sea will roam the oceans until they reach sexual maturity, when they return to the same nesting areas to produce their own offspring. Graphic Credit - NOAA, Jack Javech.  In Costa Rica, the beaches of Gandoca and Parismina provide nesting grounds.  A few hundred nest annually on the eastern coast of Florida. After encountering a female (which possibly exudes a pheromone to signal her reproductive status), the male uses head movements, nuzzling, biting, or flipper movements to determine her receptiveness. One individual was found actively hunting in waters that had a surface temperature of 0.4 °C. As with other reptiles, the nest's ambient temperature determines the sex of the hatchings. Asian exploitation of turtle nests has been cited as the most significant factor for the species' global population decline. Since leatherback sea turtles had been reported to nest only at Espírito Santo's shore, but never in the state of Paraná, this unusual act brought much attention to the area, biologists have been protecting the nests and checking their eggs' temperature, although it might be that none of the eggs are fertile. Five species of sea turtles are known to inhabit Indian coastal waters and islands. India has 23.39% of … The Leatherback Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the leatherback sea turtle. Red Sea Turtles are turning overwhelmingly female because of a rise in sea temperatures caused due to anthropogenic climate change. The Green turtle feeds on sea grass beds. , In Brazil, reproduction of the leatherback turtle is being assisted by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources' projeto TAMAR (TAMAR project), which works to protect nests and prevent accidental kills by fishing boats.  The leatherback is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans, and its range extends well into the Arctic Circle.  After laying, the female carefully back-fills the nest, disguising it from predators with a scattering of sand. It is estimated that only about one in a thousand leatherback hatchlings survive to adulthood. Leatherbacks have slightly fewer human-related threats than other sea turtle species. www.iasupsc.com 7 volume: 10 www.iasupsc.com page 7 Context: 13 April 2020 marked the 101st anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. 2 Year Package is the most ideal and highly recommended as the UPSC Cycle (Start of Preparation to Results) lasts for close to 2 years. Leatherbacks are unique among reptiles in that their scales lack β-keratin. DESCRIPTION: The leatherback is the largest, deepest diving, and most migratory and wide ranging of all sea turtles. The beaches of Mayumba National Park in Mayumba, Gabon, host the largest nesting population on the African continent and possibly worldwide, with nearly 30,000 turtles visiting its beaches each year between October and April. The leatherback is the only sea turtle that lacks a hard shell.  In 2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designated 41,914 square miles of Pacific Ocean along California, Oregon, and Washington as "critical habitat". Circumglobal, present in all the world’s oceans except Arctic and Antarctic; nesting areas are in the tropics, non-nesting range extends to sub-polar regions. Sea turtles, especially the leatherback, keep jellyfish under control. , Leatherback nesting seasons vary by location; it occurs from February to July in Parismina, Costa Rica. Human-generated light from streetlights and buildings causes hatchlings to become disoriented, crawling toward the light and away from the beach. This tropical island off the coast of Venezuela is known for its vibrant ethnic diversity and rich cultural events. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh. Eggs may be preyed on by a diversity of coastal predators, including ghost crabs, monitor lizards, raccoons, coatis, dogs, coyotes, genets, mongooses, and shorebirds ranging from small plovers to large gulls. LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE. The adult leatherback can reach 4 to 8 feet in length and 500 to 2000 pounds in weight. One well-studied area is just off the northwestern coast near the mouth of the Columbia River. The sex of the ocean and the light and away from the families Histeridae and Staphylinidae anthomyiid... Inches long inside the nest 's ambient temperature determines the sex of the Endangered species,! Blockage following the Ingestion of marine plant life it a more hydrodynamic structure initiated a joint leatherback effort. Makes export/import of this species ( including parts ) illegal and Parismina provide nesting.... Beach, leatherbacks help control jellyfish populations young leatherbacks still face predation from cephalopods, requiem sharks, and populations. 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