Huge leatherback sea turtles, which weigh as much as a compact car and date back to the dinosaur age, migrate thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean to the coasts of Central and South America. According to U.S. News & World Report, scientists were startled by the discovery that leatherbacks could make such a long journey, feasting on jellyfish in cold water off the U.S. west coast, before heading back home.
Now scientists are worried because the number of leatherback turtles off of California has dropped 80% in the last 30 years, for a 5.6% annual decline. If it continues—due to international fishing, and the loss of nesting grounds—they could disappear off the coast within 30 years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched an aggressive campaign to save them by reducing the number of eggs taken on beaches and reducing the number of leatherbacks tangled up in nets by commercial fishing.
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