Leatherback turtle placed on Australia's threatened species list

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Melbourne, Jan 18 (ANI): Australia has listed the world's largest sea turtle, the leatherback, as endangered.

Also added to the list by the federal government are nine species of snails, four shrubs, three orchids and the Bornemisszas stag beetle.

The turtle, which averages about 1.6 metres in length and weighs between 250 and 700 kilograms, are found in tropical and temperate waters around Australia off the south Queensland and NSW coasts and off Western Australia's coast, south of Geraldton.

Alpine bogs in pockets of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT, described as a haven for threatened and crucial to inland water resources, will be given greater protection as well.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett, in announcing the new listings, said activities and projects that could impact significantly on the threatened species and ecological communities would require federal approval before proceeding.

"The uplisting is mainly due to the ongoing threats the turtle faces from unsustainable harvesting of egg and meat and pressures from commercial fishing outside Australian waters," News.com.au quoted Garrett, as saying. (ANI)

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