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Leatherback turtle

Latin name: Dermochelys coriacea

IUCN Red List conservation status

About: Leatherback turtle

The leatherback turtle is the oldest and largest turtle living in our oceans and is an important part of our ecosystem.

Leatherback turtles can be found in tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.

Leatherback turtle facts:

  • Leatherbacks can grow to 7 feet (2 metres) and weigh more than 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms)
  • They can trace their evolutionary roots back more than 100 million years, to before dinosaurs walked the Earth
  • Leatherbacks can dive to depths of 4,200 feet (1,280 metres), deeper than any other turtle, and can stay underwater for up to 85 minutes

The trade of turtle eggs, although now illegal, remains the most significant threat to marine turtles.

Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI’s) Marine Turtle Conservation Programme has conserved marine turtles in Nicaragua since 2002. Several important leatherback nesting beaches are located along the country’s coast.

Through the conservation of leatherback turtle nesting beaches, designing and improving tools for sea turtle conservation and by building environmental awareness, FFI is slowly but definitely changing the tide.

Photo credits: Projeto Tamar Brazil/Marine Photobank, Perla Torres Gago/ FFI

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Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales, Registered Company Number 2677068. Registered Charity Number 1011102
Fauna & Flora International Australia (Ltd) is a company limited by guarantee, and recognised as a Charitable Institution (ABN 75 132 715 783, ACN 132715783)
Fauna & Flora International USA Inc is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Delaware with federal tax identification number 81-3967095. 501(c)(3) status for Fauna & Flora International USA Inc currently is pending IRS approval.
Fauna & Flora International Singapore is a public company limited by guarantee, Registration Number 201133836K. Registered charity under the Singapore Charities Act