Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Scientific American piece

A dead Kemp's ridley sea turtle - a critically endangered species - washed ashore at Texas' Padre Island National Seashore, probably a drowning victim to net entanglement from shrimping boats offshore.
Copyright (c) 2008 Wendee Holtcamp

This piece in Scientific American I wrote came out a few weeks back and I forgot to include a link! The article is called, Fury Over Conservationists Taking Fees from Developers: A proposed megaport and a sea-turtle nesting beach collide within the group that maintains the endangered species list (IUCN). This was a crazy piece to write. It is an extremely complex and controversial issue, and I had to research and write it very quickly and cover a LOT of info in a relatively small space. Here's a link to the PDF that has the full magazine layout with a cool pic of mating sea turtles, and here's a link to the article on Scientific American's website.

It starts with these two paragraphs:
Every winter and spring, tens of thousands of endangered olive ridley sea turtles clamber onto the shores of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, along India’s northeastern coast, to lay eggs in one of the world’s most spectacular phenomena—the arribada, or mass nesting, which occurs only in India, Costa Rica and Mexico. This past season, however, the arribada did not happen at Gahirmatha.

Although turtles have occasionally failed to mass-nest in previous years, conservationists fear this time the cause is dredging for a new seaport. Indian scientists and conservation groups place some blame on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), among the world’s most respected conservation organizations. The union has taken corporate money to consult on the port, effectively giving it a green stamp of approval even though it may spell the end for this nesting site....

Read more here

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