The Great Turtle Race started on Monday as 11 leatherback turtles left the shores of Costa Rica on their spring migration to the Galapagos Islands. They should complete the 1,200-mile journey within the next couple weeks. Satellite tracking equipment is strapped to each turtle and their progress is being monitored on the website www.greatturtlerace.com. The tracking information measures their progress toward the island and also how deep they’re diving into the ocean.
Leatherback turtles are an endangered species that some environmentalists fear could be wiped off the Earth in the next 10 years. The female populations of the turtles have dropped from 115,000 in 1980 to less than 43,000 today.