The Coronavirus pandemic has left most of planet earth on lockdown for the past few months. But, while humans might find the current situation frustrating and inconvenient, mother nature is using it to her advantage.
The Guardian reports that along the coast of Thailand, record numbers of leatherback turtles are returning to the country’s beaches to nest.
This rare species is the world's largest sea turtle. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, these gentle giants may now be on the brink of a comeback! In fact, the 11 nests discovered in this region represent the highest number observed in over 20 years.
So, why the change?
For starters, many turtle nesting areas have been damaged by human activity - resort development, beach erosion, light pollution, and illegal poaching have all taken their toll. Leatherback turtles are also prone to becoming entangled in fishing gear - their large size and inability to manoeuvre once trapped in fishing lines or nets means that they often don’t survive the encounter.
However, empty beaches, reduced boat traffic, construction pauses, and a reduction in commercial fishing are giving these majestic animals a much needed break from human interference. And the positive results are astounding! According to Ao Phang Nga National Park staff, a record 84 hatchlings have been reported over the past two months. This is excellent news for sea turtles, one of Thailand's most iconic oceanic species.
While it's uncertain how long human lockdowns associated with COVID-19 will last, one thing is sure - the leatherbacks are loving it!
This exciting news was originally reported by The Guardian.