Leatherback turtle habitats discovered

Written by UPI

Saturday, 02 August 2008

Spanish researchers said they've discovered extensive leatherback turtle nesting beaches in Colombia and Panama.

Researchers from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research documented 6,000 new turtle nests along 60 miles of nearly uncharted Atlantic beach in the north of Colombia and south of Panama in 2006 and 2007.

The report, published in the journal Biological Conservation, said the highest densities of leatherback nests were found on Armila beach in southern Panama, which is being managed by the indigenous Kuna community.

"Armila is home to one of the highest known densities of leatherback nests, with a similarly high birth success rate. It is also an exceptional model of ancestral co-existence with a positive conservation impact for a seriously imperiled species," the Spanish BBVA Foundation said in a release.

The report said the Central American Caribbean is the world's fourth largest nesting zone for the leatherback turtle after the Guayanas, Gabon and the island of Trinidad.