Aug 23, 2022
Babies of the world’s smallest and most endangered sea turtle have been found for the first time in 75 years off the coast of New Orleans.
Experts have documented over 53 turtle crawls. Two baby turtles hatching were also spotted. That's according to Louisiana officials. Some are the tiniest turtle species. They're called the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. This is big because 95% of Kemp’s ridley nesting takes place in Mexico. The other turtles are loggerheads. They, too, are on a list of protected animals.
“Louisiana was largely written off as a nesting spot for sea turtles decades ago, but this ... demonstrates why barrier island restoration is so important,” one official told the Associated Press.
The chain of barrier reef islands is off the coast of Louisiana. It is part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. That's the US' second-oldest wildlife refuge.
“We are gaining a better understanding of the benefits ... restoration may provide in the recovery of this endangered species,” another official told The Guardian.
The agencies have been keeping an eye on the islands since May. The goal is to help restore them. The islands were hurt by BP’s huge oil spill in 2010. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 hit the islands hard, too.
One of the officials said the Kemp’s ridley hatchlings would help his agency “make sure these turtles and other wildlife return to our shores year after year.”
This mural of a human inside the body of a turtle was created in Mexico by Paola Delfín.
"A Hui Hou"
This environmental mural by Hawai'ian artist Kai Kaulukukui depicts a green sea turtle tangled in fishing lines and plastic, while a child swims beside attempting to help it.
Will the Ocean Ever Run Out of Fish?
This resource describes the current state of fish populations in the oceans and the industrial fishing practices that have lead to the critical state of fish stocks globally.