The Great Turtle Race 2009 officially kicks off today. Eleven leatherback sea turtles, the largest reptiles on the planet, are taking part in this year’s great adventure. The turtles are speedily swimming from their feeding grounds in Canada’s frigid waters to warmer Caribbean waters and their nesting beaches. All of the turtles have been tagged with state-of-the-art satellite tags so we can watch as they make their 3,700 mile (6,000 km) journey.
The Great Turtle Race is more than just a race to the turtles’ breeding grounds – it’s about protecting sea turtles and the marine environments they call home. Sea turtles are a bellwether of marine health and unfortunately, their numbers are declining around the world. Leatherback sea turtles are extremely endangered; by watching the Great Turtle Race, you’re sure to have fun while learning about this magnificent species.
To learn more about the racers and to receive daily updates on their progress, check out National Geographic’s website www.greatturtlerace.com. My money’s on Estéban!