Lobregat releases endangered turtle PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 December 2012 15:03

Demonstrating commitment to the protection of endangered mammals, Mayor Celso Lobregat early yesterday morning spearheaded the release of a rescued olive ridley sea turtle in the waters off Bolong beach in the east coast.

Weighing 38 kilograms, the sea turtle had a carapace length and width of 65 centimeters. Its scientific name is lepidochelys olivacea. It was tagged Ph 0510C.

The turtle recovered by residents in the coastal area of Bolong Thursday afternoon. Bolong chairman Antonio Evangelista was informed of the find and immediately contacted authorities, according to Lobregat.

He said awareness and consciousness on the protection and preservation of endangered mammals should be intensified so people will know what to do if such endangered species are recovered or rescued.

He thanked Bolong chair Evangelista for quickly coordinating with authorities, as recounted the numerous times he went to the area to lead the release of stranded or rescued turtles including whales.

Preservation and protection of endangered mammals from extinction is one of the priority advocacies of Lobregat administration.

The National Geographic says that olive ridleys get their name from the coloring of their heart-shaped shell, which starts out gray but becomes olive green once the turtles are adults. They have one to two visible claws on each of their paddle-like flippers.

Olive ridleys are the smallest of the sea turtles, weighing up to 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and reaching only about 2 feet (65 centimeters) in shell length. The olive ridley has a slightly smaller head and smaller shell than the Kemp’s ridley, another kind of marine turtle.

Olive ridleys have nesting sites all over the world, on tropical and subtropical beaches. During nesting, they use the wind and the tide to help them reach the beach. Females lay about a hundred eggs, but may nest up to three times a year. The nesting season is from June to December, the national geographic reveals.

For this year alone, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO-Zamboanga) has recorded retrievals of at least 6 endangered turtles in the city, the latest of which was Lawin, a green sea turtle (chelonian mydas) found at the R.T. Lim boulevard at the height of typhoon Lawin last September. It was released at the Paseo del Mar September 26.

Last January, the mayor also released to the sea 73 hatchings of hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) at La Vista del Mar.

Luis Lozano, Chief of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Section at PENRO-Zamboanga said his office regularly conducts information education campaigns concerning preservation and protection of endangered mammals.

He disclosed that of the 8 kinds of marine turtles in the world, 6 can be found in the Philippines. 

Assisting the mayor during the release of the sea turtle was City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Engr. Rey Gonzales, Lozano and Evangelista. — Sheila Covarrubias