For the first time in 70 years, biologists have confirmed that a leatherback sea turtle has nested in Texas. Though they did not see the animal itself, the researchers found its unmistakable tracks and a freshly-dug nest.
The leatherback, the largest reptile in the world, is endangered worldwide. Many drown when caught in fishermen’s nets. Poachers steal their eggs. Development encroaches on the sandy beaches the turtles need for their nests. The return of at least one turtle to Padre Island, Texas is hopeful sign that the species may be making a slow comeback.