Southeast Asia, Home to the World’s Rare Marine Turtle Species
World Turtle Day is celebrated every May 23 to protect turtles, tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.
According to their scientific classification, turtles belong to the diapsid group of the order Testudines, which is part of the class Reptilia. Some Testudines species have already gone extinct.
Turtles are one of the oldest reptile groups, even older than snakes or crocodiles. There are 365 turtle species known to be alive today, but some of them are highly endangered.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia has revealed that the archipelago is home to six out of seven of the world’s marine turtle species, as it provides important nesting and foraging grounds, as well as important migration routes at the crossroads of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
However, despite these facts, there are threatened or near-threatened marine turtle species that is under the high focus of the local authority.
Herewith, Indonesian online portal of Kompas.com has compiled a list from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), along with their conservation status.
1. Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback turtle) – vulnerable, population decreasing
2. Chelonia mydas (green turtle) – endangered, population decreasing
3. Caretta caretta (loggerhead turtle) – endangered
4. Natator depressa (flatback turtle) – threatened species, data deficient
5. Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill sea turtle) – critically endangered, population decreasing
6. Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley sea turtle) – vulnerable, population decreasing
The hawksbill sea turtle, which is categorized as critically endangered, is the nearest to being extinct.
According to WWF Indonesia’s coordinator of marine species conservation, Dwi Suprapti, observations have hinted at the significant decrease of turtles in Indonesian waters.
There's indeed so much to be done to preserve this speciality of being home for so many rare species that couldn't be found elsewhere in the world.
Let's do this!
Source: The Jakarta Post