The ocean-going leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all living turtles and can swim across the entire Pacific ocean following its primary food, jellyfish. The Pacific beaches of El Salvador are one place where leatherback turtles come to nest.
This week ecologists working with El Salvador's environment ministry watched as 39 hatchling leatherbacks crawled along the sand of a protected natural area in Sonsonate and out towards the ocean. The little turtles had recently hatched from eggs specially watched over by the scientists.
The leatherback is in significant risk of extinction. As much as 80% of the world's population of these turtles has been lost in the past 10 years.
Many more programs like these programs run by El Salvador will be needed to protect these ancient creatures of the sea.