Thailand has discovered the largest number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles in two decades on beaches bereft of tourists because of the coronavirus pandemic. Leatherbacks are the world’s largest sea turtles. They are considered endangered in Thailand, and listed as a vulnerable species globally by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
“If we compare to the year before, we didn’t have this many spawn, because turtles have a high risk of getting killed by fishing gear and humans disturbing the beach,” said Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, the director of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre.
Thailand's ban on international flights and appeal to citizens to stay at home have resulted in a collapse in tourist numbers and freed up the beaches for wildlife.