'Uncommon' Endangered Turtle Washes Up On Central Coast Beach

Experts are blaming pollution

Article heading image for 'Uncommon' Endangered Turtle Washes Up On Central Coast Beach

A leatherback turtle appeared on Avoca beach on Wednesday morning, an endangered species which is uncommon to NSW waters.

Authorities say pollutions due to the state's heavy rain and flash flooding may have killed the massive sea animal, which measured a length of almost 1.8 metres.

Officials at the Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue say the turtle may have been harmed by the recent flooding events, and is thought to be around 30 years of age.

The leatherback species is classified as endangered in NSW, with little to none known existence around the country.

Experts say sightings are uncommon, yet that may appear in the coastal waters of NSW as part of its migratory corridor. 

Only 58 leatherback turtles have been spotted in the state.


A spokesperson from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife service says there's no confirmation on its cause of death.

"There are no obvious signs pointing to how the turtle may have died, but experts from the Australian Registry for Wildlife Health are taking samples for analysis," a spokesperson said.

"The Australian Museum will also collect the skull to help better understand the leatherback population in Australia."

The turtle has since been removed from the beach, set to be buried by authorities.

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31 March 2022

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