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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good
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ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILE

PROTECTION STATUS: Endangered

YEAR PLACED ON LIST: 1970

CRITICAL HABITAT: A strip of land 0.2 miles wide and 1.9 miles long on the western end of the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the surrounding waters up to the hundred-fathom curve, designated in 1978

RECOVERY PLAN: 1998

RANGE: All tropical and subtropical oceans, as far south as the southernmost tip of New Zealand and as far north as the Arctic Circle

THREATS: Entanglement in fishing nets, coastal development, beachfront lighting, increased nest predation, habitat degradation, ocean pollution, collisions with watercraft, and global warming

POPULATION TREND: In the Pacific Ocean, fewer than 2,000 adult females now remain, and studies suggest that the Pacific population may become extinct within as little a a decade. The Mexico leatherback nesting population is today less than 1 percent of its estimated size in 1980. Leatherbacks in the Atlantic Ocean are doing better, with some nesting populations increasing.

Photo courtesy of Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary