The leatherback turtle is the largest sea turtle species on earth ranging from 4-8 feet in length and can weigh up to 900kg.
They propel through the water using their powerful front flippers that can span up to 3m, while their rear flippers are used to aid with direction (Lasala, 2018).
Leatherbacks have delicate jaws meaning they can only eat soft bodied animals such as jellyfish which are composed of mainly water with poor nutrients.
Similarly to other species of turtle, leatherbacks migrate extreme distances for breeding and feeding purposes, travelling as far as 10,000 miles across the pacific (Eckert, 2002).
Despite this species persisting for over 100 million years, the pacific population of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) has dramatically declined in the last 25 years which has been linked to fisheries, meat harvesting and in more recent years climate variability (Jones, 2012).
Recent studies of climate change projections show that with increased ocean temperatures many sea turtle behaviours have been altered such as nesting times which may lead to altered incubation conditions, breeding success, hatchling dispersal and even sex ratio (Tomillo, 2015).
Wastern Pacific leatherback populations have plummeted more than 80% along with Eastern pacific leatherback declining by more than 97% (NOAA, 2016).
Many organisations are working hard on solutions to #climate #change and effects it may have on species including the leatherback turtle.
Conservation actions are needed for the survival of this species and many others so get involved and do your part to