Leatherback turtle, whales off Scotland

This video is called Leatherback Sea Turtle Research in Costa Rica.

From Wildlife Extra:

Leatherback turtle seen off Scotland

Huge Leatherback turtle spotted between Skye and Harris

June 2011. During a routine cetacean research survey, researchers and volunteers from the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) were treated to an unusual encounter.

While crossing the Minch on Sunday 5th June, between Skye and Harris, a massive Leatherback turtle, measuring about 1.5 metres, was spotted to the delight of all onboard. As Silurian, HWDTs research vessel, approached, the Leatherback turtle slowly dived but resurfaced close by and allowed the observers onboard a good 10 minutes gawping before it swam sedately away.

Dolphins and whales too

Skipper, Dave Hanna, said “It was the most exciting moment of my life.” That wasn’t the only sighting that day; seven different pods of common dolphins and four Minke whales were also recorded. Silurian and her crew will continue surveying the waters off the west coast of Scotland until the end of September, inviting volunteers onboard to assist with the data collection.

Leatherbacks in British waters

The Leatherback turtle is the first spotted by HWDT since surveys began onboard Silurian in 2001. Leatherbacks undertake enormous migrations from tropical breeding grounds to temperate feeding waters. The turtles are typically seen in British waters during the summer months when the swarms of jellyfish they prey on are abundant. They are one of the largest reptiles on the planet with consequently few natural predators. However, Leatherbacks are listed as critically endangered due to entanglement in fishing gear and marine litter (a plastic bag looks a lot like a jellyfish!).

Report any sightings

You too can help build a better understanding about the marine environment off Scotland’s west coast by reporting your sightings to HWDT. Sightings Officer, Sandra Koetter, says “It is exciting that a Leatherback turtle has been spotted, it is very rare that we receive reports of turtles. Sightings like these emphasis how rich our marine environment is and we need you to help us understand it better.” You can report your sightings using the online sightings form found at www.hwdt.org.

Victory! Pacific Leatherbacks Gain Protected Habitat: here.

June 2011: Recently equipped with satellite tracking GPS devices to record their movements and ultimately protect their habitat, 22 out of 24 tagged Hawksbill turtles swimming in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) waters are competing in the Great Gulf Turtle Race. Starting at the beginning of the months movements can be tracked and visitors can cheer for their favorite turtles at www.gulfturtles.com; continue here.

Thousands of Gulf [of Mexico] Sea Turtles Killed by Shrimp Trawls: here.

Tracking an entire sub-population of marine turtles over the course of a decade: here.

Noisy Ships Have Whales Yelling to be Heard: here.

Jellyfish are on the increase because their natural predators are being killed: here.

Leatherback turtles’ taste for jellyfish leads them to Welsh coast: here.

August 2011: Leatherback sea turtles migrate and forage across vast areas of the Pacific Ocean and Indo Pacific seas and require greater international collaboration for their protection, according to a recent study conducted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service: here.

Leatherback Turtles Wear Tracking Backpacks: here.

ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2012) — The majestic leatherback turtle is the largest sea turtle in the world, growing to more than 6 feet in length. It is also one of the most threatened. A major new study of migration patterns has identified high-use areas — potential danger zones–in the Pacific Ocean for this critically endangered species. This new understanding could help inform decisions about fishing practices to help reduce further deaths of this fragile species: here.

Shifting the life-history paradigm: discovery of novel habitat use by hawksbill turtles: here.

Working to save Nicaragua’s hawksbills: here.

4 thoughts on “Leatherback turtle, whales off Scotland

  1. Pingback: Scottish whales, sharks, and turtles | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Antigua leatherback turtle babies hatched safely | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Turtles and tortoises in Puerto Rico and Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Leatherback turtles, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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