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Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation

Pacific leatherback sea turtle on nesting beach in Indonesia

Each year Pacific leatherback sea turtles migrate 6,000 miles across the Pacific from their major nesting areas in Papua-Barat, Indonesia to foraging areas off of California’s coast. These endangered leatherbacks are in a perilous situation, with the population on a continuous decline; they will be effectively extirpated within 20 years if current trends continue. Conservation actions are needed now more than ever. To manage the population effectively, collaboration between Indonesia and California to conserve the species at both their nesting beaches and their foraging areas is key. In October 2013, the Leatherback Summit held in Monterey, California was the start of bi-national coordination to more effectively conserve the species at both stages of its life cycle from hatchling to adult.

In Indonesia, for less than $2,000 a year, a student’s high school and college educations can be fully funded. The conservation of leatherback sea turtles will continue to remain an issue of grave concern without the continued push towards its conservation.

Please consider a donation to contribute scholarship funds to Indonesians who will continue to work towards to the recovery of this endangered species and to continue to foster this international collaboration.

To learn more about this cause, read more below.

Donate Now! (please choose a Level or Other):

Donations to this exciting project can be made online using a credit card or a PayPal account. The credit card transaction will be securely handled by PayPal and you do not need a PayPal account to make a credit card donation. At the end of the credit card transaction you will be presented with an option to print out a receipt for your donation.

Please consider a donation to contribute to recovery efforts of this endangered species and towards the success of the Leatherback Summit. All levels of tax-deductible donations will go towards leatherback conservation.

Payment can also be made by check mailed to:

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation
99 Pacific Street, Building 455 E
Monterey, CA 93940-2493

If you have any questions, please email CMSF@CaliforniaMSF.org.

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About the Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation

Fishermen from key islands on transmitter deployment

What makes the leatherbacks so important is that they are "living dinosaurs," having survived 100 million years virtually unchanged. Not only are they the largest of all sea turtles, growing as big as mini-coopers, but they also swim 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean after nesting in Indonesia to feed on jellyfish that are seasonally abundant along the California coast. Despite how amazing they are, this ancient ocean dweller is endangered and at risk of extinction.

In the last 25 years, the leatherback population has declined by approximately 90 percent and is as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The decline in population is primarily the result of human activities such as by-catch, egg poaching, habitat loss, marine plastic pollution, and climate change. In order to increase awareness, education, and cooperative conservation, Governor Brown signed AB1776 into law that designated the Pacific leatherback sea turtle as California's official marine reptile and on October 15th, 2013 the first annual Leatherback Conservation Day.

To manage the population effectively, collaboration between Indonesia and California to conserve the species at both their nesting beaches and their foraging areas is key. In response to the Governor's designation and continued threats to leatherback sea turtles, multiple marine organizations and political and scientific leaders from Indonesia and California convened in Monterey, California in October 2013 to agree on additional steps to conserve the species that include improving bi-national communication, cooperation, and resource sharing.

In Papua-Barart, Indonesia, where the leatherback sea turtles nest, much of the economy is based in oil and gas exploration. Yet, the conservation of leatherback sea turtles remains at the forefront of their environmental conservation initiatives, so much so that the turtle is included in their official emblem. In Indonesia, for less than $2,000 a year, a student’s high school and college educations can be fully funded. By helping to fund the educations of highly motivated students, there will be a continued push towards leatherback sea turtle conservation.

Please consider a donation to contribute scholarship funds to Indonesians who will continue to work towards to the recovery of this endangered species and continue to foster this international collaboration.

If you have any questions, please email CMSF@CaliforniaMSF.org.

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