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

Seeds keep vital much longer when stored without oxygen

2 hours ago

If seed breeding companies, gene banks and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on Spitsbergen should store plant seeds under oxygen-poor conditions, it would be possible to store them for much longer while still ...

Native species may be hindering fox control efforts

2 hours ago

Native species interfering with ground distributed baits used to control red foxes in south west Western Australia may mean the baits are not available to the target species, a Murdoch University study has ...

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

Jul 26, 2014

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

Jul 24, 2014

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

User comments : 0