California OKs new protections for leatherback sea turtles
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has added the Pacific leatherback sea turtle to its endangered species list.
The California Fish and Game Commission voted Thursday to add the turtles under the state’s Endangered Species Act.
Leatherback sea turtles are the world’s largest turtle species and have been on the federal endangered species list since 1973. But scientists now know more about how crucial California is to their survival.
A subpopulation of leatherback sea turtles hatch in Indonesia and swim 6,000 miles to eat jellyfish off the California coast.
Scientists say these sea turtles have declined in California by about 5.6% per year for the past three decades.