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Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:02 AM

Deserted Thai beaches lure rare turtles to build most nests in 20 years

Source: Reuters

ENVIRONMENT APRIL 19, 2020 / 11:00 PM / UPDATED 7 HOURS AGO

Deserted Thai beaches lure rare turtles to build most nests in 20 years

Jiraporn Kuhakan
2 MIN READ

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand has found the largest number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles in two decades on beaches bereft of tourists because of the coronavirus pandemic, environmentalists say.

From wild boars patrolling the Israeli city of Haifa to deer venturing into London suburbs, virus closures are drawing wildlife into the abandoned streets of many cities.

In Thailand, with 2,765 infections and 47 deaths, travel curbs ranging from a ban on international flights to an appeal to citizens to stay home have brought a collapse in tourist numbers, but freed up the beaches for wildlife.

The 11 turtle nests authorities have found since last November were the highest number in 20 years, said Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, the director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center.

“This is a very good sign for us because many areas for spawning have been destroyed by humans,” he told Reuters. No such nests had been found for the previous five years.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-thailand-turtles/deserted-thai-beaches-lure-rare-turtles-to-build-most-nests-in-20-years-idUSKBN22207G

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