Most of the human population is finally starting to take social-distancing and self-isolation seriously by staying indoors — allowing nature to take time to rebuild itself — dolphins have reportedly been spotted swimming through Italy’s ports, China’s air pollution has dropped tremendously, and Venice’s murky canals have apparently turned crystal clear.
The empty beaches have seen 200 critically endangered hawksbill turtles and 90 green turtles an easy and undisturbed hatching season in Paulista, Brazil according to a statement City Hall of Paulista.
Back on March 14, the first groups of hatchlings were welcomed by a large crowd cheering for the marine reptiles as they made their crawl to the sea. Shortly after that, social-distancing mandates were implemented and the next group of sea turtles made their way to the sea with only a few researchers from the Urban Sustainability Center.
Hawksbills are named for their narrow, pointed beak. They also have a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their shells that form a serrated-look on the edges. These colored and patterned shells make them highly-valuable and commonly sold as “tortoiseshell” in markets.
Hawksbills are found mainly throughout the world’s tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs. They feed mainly on sponges by using their narrow pointed beaks to extract them from crevices on the reef, but also eat sea anemones and jellyfish.
Sea turtles are the living representatives of a group of reptiles that has existed on Earth and travelled our seas for the last 100 million years. They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds.