Leatherback Sea Turtle Nests See Large Increase in Florida and Thailand Amid COVID-19 Shutdowns

Nature's response to the stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic is a welcomed bright spot in these dark times. 

Thailand is making headlines as its tourism economy has shut down, and a season of peace for the leatherback sea turtle has begun. Endangered in the area, the turtles have begun nesting on the beaches for the first time in five years. 

A total of 11 nests have been laid on Thai beaches, the most in the last 20 years. 

Similarly, in Florida, the number of leatherback nests have skyrocketed. The staff at Loggerhead Marine Life Center have located 76 nests at Juno Beach, marking a significant increase over last year's count.

This is thanks, in part, to the closing of the beaches due to the coronavirus. Without people and dogs walking over the beaches and nests at this time, staff believes that the nests also have a much higher chance at survival until they hatch. 

“Our world has changed, but these turtles have been doing this for millions of years and it’s just reassuring and gives us hope that the world is still going on.”

When the nesting season comes to an end, the increased number could provide a much-needed boost to the vulnerable sea turtle species. 

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