But haphazard development, in tandem with warmer temperatures and rising seas that many scientists link to global warming, have vastly diminished the Pacific turtle population.Turtles are truly magical creatures (just ask my mother). Swimming with one is as close to a spiritual experience as I could describe.
Worldwide, there are seven sea turtle species, and all are considered threatened. (Turtle populations in the Atlantic have increased over the last 20 years because of measures like bans on trapping turtles and selling their parts.)
The leatherback is considered critically endangered on a global level. Populations are especially depleted in the Pacific, where only 2,000 to 3,000 are estimated to survive today, down from around 90,000 two decades ago. Cooler sands alone will not save them, given the scope of the threats they face. At Playa Junquillal, markers placed a decade ago to mark a point 55 yards above the high tide line are now frequently underwater.
I fear the leatherback is probably doomed. A terrible shame; I always wanted to see one.