16 Apr 2015

Turnaround for Solomons turtle on brink of extinction

3:22 pm on 16 April 2015

A sea turtle rookery in Solomon Islands is showing the most dramatic recovery in turtle population ever recorded in the Pacific.

Hawksbill sea turtle

Hawksbill sea turtle Photo: World Wildlife Fund

The hunting and export of the Hawksbill sea turtles' shells which began in the 1840s eventually led to the species nearing extinction.

The Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Arnavon Islands has seen a 200 percent increase in recovery after 150 years of excessive exploitation.

A scientist from the Nature Conservancy, Richard Hamilton, says the recovery success of the rookery should be used as a model in other parts of the region.

"I think we shouldn't minimise the success of both long term community based conservation efforts and supporting policy because this is a species which globally is still listed as critically endangered and it's the only example we know of for recovering the species anywhere in the western Pacific."

Richard Hamilton of Nature Conservancy.

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