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OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

SEA TURTLES

MARINE TURTLES IN THAILAND
Globally there are 7 species of Marine Turtles. All are in serious decline throughout most of their range.

Historically, five of these have been found in Thai waters, although there have been no records of the loggerhead turtle in the last 15-20 years.

The four species of marine turtles that can still be found in Thai waters are as follows:


VISIT THE TURTLES
Trip
Duration
Description
Price
Adult
Children
Sea Turtle Conservation Centre Tap Lamu
1/2 day
Visit the Turtle Conservation Centre, learn about the different species and what you can do to support their protection
650 THB
300 THB
All excursions include the transfer from and to your hotel.


THE LEATHERBACK TURTLE
(Dermochelys coriacea) In Thailand the leatherback is only known to nest on the Andaman Coast. The leatherback has been listed as globally endangered since 1970, and was confirmed as "Critically Endangered in Thailand" in 1996. It is listed in CITES Appendix I, and is also protected by Thai Law (WARPA 2535)

THE GREEN TURTLE
(Chelonia mydas) In Thailand the green turtle is found in scattered areas in both the Andaman and South China Sea coasts, nesting in both areas. They are listed as globally threatened by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and are protected by International Law (CITES Appendix I) and Thai Law (WARPA 2535)

THE HAWKSBILL TURTLE
(Eretmochelys imbricata) In Thailand, they are found near of-shore islands in the coastal waters of the Andaman Sea, and the northern Gulf of Thailand. Given the worldwide decline in numbers, the Hawksbill is listed as "Critically Endangered" in IUCN's Red List. It is listed in CITES Appendix I, and is protected by Thai Law (WARPA 2535).

THE OLIVE RIDLEY TURTLE
(Lepidochelys olivacea)
In Thailand, the number of nests on three major nesting beaches has declined dramatically from 350 in 1985 to just 11 in 2000. Olive Ridley's are listed as "Endangered" by IUCN, are protected by CITES (Appendix I) and Thai Law (WARPA 2535).


THREATS TO MARINE TURTLES IN THAILAND

Sea turtles have lived on this planet for 130 million years, but egg poaching, habitat degradation, pollution, and over-fishing threaten to make them extinct. Only eight turtles nested on Thailand's southwest coast this year, compared to 350 in 1985.

The main threats to turtles in Thailand can be summarised as follows:

  • Threats to marine turtles from fisheries
    Entanglement (mostly accidental) and drowning in long-line fisheries and shrimp trawling nets
    Much of both the coastal and open seas areas used by turtles is also used by fishermen. Because of this, each year, many turtles are killed (often unintentionally) by entanglement in fishing gear and drowning. Some injured and exhausted turtles are released from nets before they die, but their subsequent fate is uncertain.

  • Threats to marine turtles from consumption and trade
    Turtle eggs are also easy to collect, and highly nutritious. In some cultures they are also suggested to have aphrodisiac properties. Turtles have also been hunted for their shells that are used for ornaments, sunglasses and in jewellery. Their hides are cured for leather. In Asia, there has been a long tradition of consuming turtle flesh and eggs for thousands of years. Historically turtle shell has also been traded in the region for hundreds of years.

  • Threats to marine turtles from coastal development

    The construction of seawalls, hotels, marinas, and other infrastructure associated with coastal tourism and commerce, have destroyed large areas of turtle nesting beaches around the world.

    Disruptive activities on or near nesting beaches during nesting season, such as activity, noise, lights, etc.

    Turtle reproductive behaviour evolved in an environment of deserted, intact beaches. Nowadays, light and noise pollution frequently deter or interrupt many females from successful laying. Hatchlings locate the water's edge by orienting themselves to the horizon, but house and street lights can disorient newly hatched turtles so that they actually crawl away from the sea.

  • Pollution of the oceans, including chemical contamination

  • The ingestion of plastic bags and other garbage
 
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