ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/30 November) – To promote awareness on the need to protect endangered species, officials here released Friday a rescued Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtle in the waters off Bolong beach.
The turtle weighs 38 kilograms and was tagged “Ph 0510C.”
Bolong Barangay Chairman Antonio Evangelista said that residents in the coastal area of Bolong recovered the turtle Thursday afternoon.
Evangelista said that awareness on the protection of endangered species should be intensified “so people will know what to do if such endangered species are recovered or rescued.”
Luis Lozano, chief of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Section at the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Zamboanga City, said they regularly conduct information and education campaigns concerning the preservation of endangered species.
Lozano disclosed that of the eight kinds of marine turtles in the world, six can be found in the country.
Mayor Celso Lobregat thanked Evangelista for quickly coordinating with authorities, noting that protecting the endangered species from extinction is one of his priority advocacies.
According to the National Geographic, Olive Ridleys got their name from the coloring of their heart-shaped shell, which starts out gray but becomes olive green as the turtles become adult.
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 45 kilograms and reaching only about two feet in shell length.
It has a slightly smaller head and a 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.
Meanwhile, PENRO-Zamboanga has recorded retrievals of at least six endangered turtles in the city for this year alone. (MindaNews)