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The Great Turtle Race

Leatherback Turtle

And it's Billie first off the beach. Billie, in the lead. And the winner -- Billie!

Welcome to The Great Turtle Race of 2007.

A race created to call attention to the plight of the leatherback turtle, pitted 11 of these seemingly sluggish prehistoric reptiles against each other in a dramatic 950 mile dash from their nests in Costa Rica to their home on the Galapagos Islands. Some of the turtles reached speeds of up to four miles per hour. Billie, the winner, finished the journey in just ten days.

The leatherback is a magnificent reptile, growing up to seven feet long and weighing up to a ton. It can dive as deep as a half mile, and hold its breath up to an hour before resurfacing.

The Pacific population is at risk of extinction in 10 years if present trends continue. So, with GPS transmitters strapped to their backs, these ancient ambassadors of the sea undertook a fantastic journey that can still be replayed online.

Don't miss the 2008 race, starting in just a few days!

Script by Stephen Webb
Catalina Island Conservancy

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