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Rare turtle found dead on Phang Nga beach

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The body of a rare leatherback turtle, caught in a fishing net, has been discovered on a Phang Nga beach. The female turtle was discovered on a beach in the Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park on Monday, January 22.

Athapol Charoenshunsa, director of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, was alerted to the discovery. The turtle measured 1.8 metres in length and had its flippers and neck tangled up in the fishing net, which national park officials believe ultimately killed it.

An autopsy is being conducted by the national park.

Posting on his Facebook page, Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong from the Marine and Coastal Resources Research & Development Institute, says 3 turtles have been seen laying eggs in the area this year. These include 2 turtles known as Mae Thai Mueang and Mae Lampee.

“A DNA test will be conducted to identify whether the dead turtle was the same turtle known as Mae Thai Mueang.”

The Bangkok Post reports that Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Phatcharavat Wongsuwan, has ordered the DNP and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to regulate the fishing equipment being used by local fishermen.

Worldwide, leatherback turtles are considered a vulnerable species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In Thailand, leatherback turtles can often be seen laying eggs at beaches in the southern provinces of Phuket and Phang Nga. They are a protected species under Thailand’s Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act 2019.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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