Sunday, 19 January 2014

Rare green sea turtles have overpopulated the Indonesia's Derawan Island

GREEN sea turtles remain a rare sight in many parts of the world, but one Indonesian island tasked with protecting them is being overrun by far too many.

New research suggests that the gentle endangered creatures are crowding into a marine reserve in numbers never recorded anywhere, gobbling seagrass to the point that they risk destroying the food source that's vital to their survival.

Up to 20 turtles were spotted in an area covering about one hectare at Derawan Island off Indonesia's part of Borneo in 2011. That means snorkelers are almost guaranteed to see a turtle every moment they're in the water. The rate was four times higher than non-protected areas elsewhere and also topped historic numbers reported before the reptile was hunted by humans.

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