Stephen Colbert’s sea turtle currently third in race
Stephen Colbert’s sea turtle currently third in race
April 19, 2007
On the fourth day of the Great Turtle Race, 3 of the leatherback turtles have completed Stage One, passing the 200-mile marker of the 500-mile race from Costa Rica to the Galapagos. The Great Turtle Race is a unique sea turtle conservation event that has engaged tens of thousands of adults and children around the world since it began on April 16.
The turtles’ positions are updated every 10 minutes online. The leaderboard this morning on www.GreatTurtleRace.com showed their positions at:
- Billie, sponsored by Offield Center for Billfish Studies-at 243 miles (257 miles to the finish zone)
- Windy, sponsored by West Marine-at 233 miles (267 miles to the finish zone)
- Stephanie Colburtle, named by student sea turtle researchers in honor of comedian Stephen Colbert -at 209 miles (291 miles to the finish zone)
- Purple Lightning, sponsored by Yahoo-at 198 miles (302 miles to the finish zone)
- Genevieve, sponsored by Life Sciences Secondary School in New York, NY-at 185 miles (315 miles to the finish zone)
- Champiro, sponsored by GITI Tires-at 174 miles (326 miles to the finish zone)
- Freedom, sponsored by Plantronics-at 167 miles (333 miles to the finish zone)
- Saphira, sponsored by Bullish Charter School in Los Altos, CA-at 159 miles (341 miles to the finish zone)
- Turtleocity, sponsored by Travelocity-at 132 miles (368 miles to the finish zone)
- Drexelina, sponsored by Drexel University-at -8 miles (508 miles to the finish zone)
- Sundae, sponsored by Dreyer’s Slow Churned Ice Cream-at -13 miles (513 miles to the finish zone)
Regarding late swimmers Drexelina and Sundae, who continue to cruise in the waters near the starting line, Dr. Jim Spotila-founder of The Leatherback Trust and professor at Drexel University (sponsor of Drexelina)-said, “This is entirely normal. A few turtles seem to stay in the coastal areas of Costa Rica for some time after nesting each year. These two girls seem to be doing just that. It may indicate a new foraging area they have discovered…Or perhaps Drexelina simply wishes to stay near the beach to be sure developers don’t ruin it while the other turtles are gone.”
The Great Turtle Race, a unique international sea turtle conservation event bringing corporate sponsors together with conservation organizations, will take place from April 16 to April 29 in a global bid to raise awareness and funds for the critically endangered leatherback turtle.
Racing sea turtle named in honor of Stephen Colbert. An eleventh turtle named Stephanie Colburtle has joined competitors Yahoo!, Travelocity, Plantronics, West Marine, Dreyer’s Ice Cream and other sponsors in The Great Turtle Race, a unique international sea turtle conservation event that will take place online from April 16 to April 29 in a global bid to raise awareness and funds for the critically endangered leatherback turtle.
Great Turtle Race set to launch from Costa Rica. The Great Turtle Race, a unique international sea turtle conservation event bringing corporate sponsors together with conservation organizations, will take place from April 16 to April 29 in a global bid to raise awareness and funds for the critically endangered leatherback turtle.
Coastal development is a major hazard to sea turtle nesting beaches-hence, sea turtle populations-around the world. Funds raised in the Great Turtle Race will be used to purchase land along the leatherbacks’ nesting beaches in Costa Rica’s Las Baulas National Park, protecting the nesting beaches from further development.
Dori Bailey of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, whose Slow Churned brand has sponsored Sundae, commented on Dreyer’s late-starting turtle, “We’re not worried about Sundae. After all, ‘Slow Churned’ is part of who she is! She is doing exactly what we might expect-slowly churning in the waters off Costa Rica.”
The Great Turtle Race is organized by Conservation International, the Costa Rica Ministry of Environment and Energy, The Leatherback Trust and the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program in a global bid to build awareness, raise funds and collect scientific data to help the Pacific leatherback turtle, a more than 100 million-year-old creature that could become extinct within 10 years if current rates of decline continue.
In the race, the 11 female leatherback turtles have been equipped with satellite tags and are being tracked online on their regular migrations from Playa Grande, Costa Rica-the primary nesting ground for these critically endangered leatherback turtles in the Pacific Ocean-to waters near the Galapagos Islands, where the turtles feed on jellyfish, their primary food source.
Currently more than 30,000 people have signed up to choose a favorite turtle for which they are cheering at www.GreatTurtleRace.com. Visitors to the website can explore features such as “Leatherback World,” an interactive activity illustrating the challenges that leatherbacks face along their journey, and “Turtle Champions,” with profiles of individuals who have dedicated their lives to saving ocean wildlife. Fans are encouraged to tell their friends about the Great Turtle Race to continue building momentum for sea turtle conservation during the final 10 days of the race.
This is a modified news release from Conservation International