As the UN’s biodiversity conference begins today in Nagoya, Japan, the Natural History Museum’s Species of the day highlights the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle. This animal is just one example of the need for urgent international action to halt worldwide biodiversity loss.
Although the turtle lives throughout the world’s oceans, from Alaska to the southern tip of Africa, having the largest range of any sea turtle hasn’t kept its population safe.
The leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, has suffered a large reduction in its numbers mainly due to entanglement in fishing gear, over-harvesting of eggs, and hunting. It is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.