Efforts to protect endangered 'living fossil' ramped up in Guangdong

Huidong Sea Turtle National Nature Reserve, situated in Sea Turtle Bay in Huizhou City, south China's Guangdong Province, has been successfully breeding and releasing a number of green sea turtles back into the wild.

Having lived on Earth for over 200 million years, the turtle species is known as a "living fossil," but now it faces the very real threat of extinction. Along China's coastline, the bay area is one of the last spawning beds for wild sea turtles, with experts observing a notable decrease in numbers over recent years. In the wild, the green sea turtle typically only begins breeding at 20 years old and then only spawns once every three to five years. 

The nature reserve has been attempting to artificially breed sea turtles ever since it was built in the 1980s, but the efforts didn't prove successful until 2017. Currently, the nature reserve raises around 1,000 green sea turtles and releases around 600 into the ocean each year.

(Cover image is a screenshot.)

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