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  Race to save endangered turtles
Updated 02 March 2002, 12.07
Leatherback turtle
Rare turtles around Britain's coasts are to get lots more help from scientists, conservationists and the fishing industry.

  Check the guide to endangered animals

They are to work together to learn more about our hard-shelled friends and come up with a new UK Turtle Code to protect them.

Satellite tracking

Fact File
Turtles in the UK
7 main species of turtles
5 species visit the UK:
1 leatherback
2 loggerhead
3 Kemp's ridley
4 hawksbill
5 green turtle
The leatherback is most common visitor
Plastic litter's biggest threat to turtles
About five accidents with fishing nets reported a year
Experts think there are many more than that

Visiting turtles often die accidentally, from swallowing litter and getting tangled in fishing nets.

The new code will show fishermen how to rescue turtles caught up in nets.

And special electronic beacons will be fitted on the turtles to track their movements with satellites.

Rare leatherback

Fishermen are keen to help. They especially want to protect our most common, but endangered visitor, the leatherback turtle.

It's thought there are only 26,000 nesting female leatherbacks in the world.

And their numbers are falling because of too much litter. They are also hunted for their skin and precious shells.

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Find OutGuide to endangered animals
QuizEndangered animals quiz

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Endangered turtle spotted in Scotland
Sea turtles find their way with compass

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