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Critically endangered turtles hatch in record numbers in Philippine village

Hawksbill sea turtles are a critically endangered species of sea turtle, with its population declining by as much as 80 percent in the past decade. In the Philippines, this turtle species is among the most trafficked on the black market due to its sought-after shells.

Recently, however, communities in the coastal village of Candiis who are hard at work trying to protect turtle nesting sites have recorded their most successful season in recent years, with nearly 300 hatchlings released into the sea in the first half of May alone — and more expected before the month ends.

Residents of the village, in the coastal town of Magsaysay, released the first batch of 144 hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings on May 1, with the second batch of 155 little turtles released nearly two weeks later.

Magsaysay is home to a 612-hectare (1,512-acre) site declared a critical hawksbill turtle habitat. The community expects the third batch of eggs, numbering 100 and laid on March 22, to hatch in the third week of May. Altogether, it will be the largest number of turtle hatchlings released in a single month.

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about the resurgence of hawksbill sea turtles. Last month, we shared a story from the coast of Thailand where record numbers of hawksbill sea turtle nests were being found.

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