Critically endangered turtle makes surprise appearance

Jan 24, 2014
Credit: © Cat Holloway / WWF-Canon

A hawksbill sea turtle has been recorded for the first time in the waters of Pakistan. The turtle was found entangled in a net by local fishermen and was later confirmed to be a hawksbill by WWF-Pakistan.

It is estimated that there are less than 50,000 remaining worldwide. The has declined 80% over the last century and the IUCN Red List classifies the species as critically endangered.

"The confirmation of a hawksbill turtle in Pakistan is a new addition to the diversified marine fauna of the country," said Rab Nawaz, director of WWF-Pakistan. "This finding is good news for the species."

The rescue demonstrates the positive impact that the training of ship's crews can have on the protection of marine diversity. WWF has run a program to train marine monitors in Pakistan since 2012.

The crew carefully removed the hawksbill from the net, photographed the individual and successfully released it back to sea unharmed.

"After 18 years of working these waters, finding the hawksbill was the most exciting catch I've ever made," said boat captain Shah Zamin, "I am glad that we had the awareness raising from WWF to record the find and save the turtle."

The turtle measured 47 cm and is estimated to be a juvenile. Adult hawksbills can reach one meter in length and weight up to 80kg. The species is easily distinguished from other by its sharp, curved beak and the saw-like appearance of its shell.

Explore further: More than 500 baby sea turtles released off Fla.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Endangered turtles no longer turned into souvenirs

Mar 25, 2009

Critically endangered hawksbill turtles are no longer being sold as tourist souvenirs in the Dominican Republic after a powerful government campaign cracked down on shops illegally trading such items. More ...

Ban turtle eggs trade in Malaysia: WWF

Aug 03, 2011

Conservationists Wednesday urged Malaysia to impose a national ban on the trade and consumption of turtle eggs to ensure the survival of the marine creatures.

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

8 hours ago

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

18 hours ago

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...