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Recent nesting record of the Leatherback in coastal Myanmar

The leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) ranges widely throughout the Indian Ocean, although nesting appears restricted to a few scattered areas. In the northeast Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia, leatherbacks nest on the Indian mainland (small numbers), Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, western coast of Thailand (small numbers), Sumatra, and Java. The current situation in Myanmar with regards to leatherback reproduction is unclear. Historically, Maxwell (1911) reported leatherbacks nesting along the coast of Arakan (now “Rakhine”) State and Tenasserim Division (now “Tanintharyi Region”). However, the current status of these nesting populations is unknown and leatherbacks together with hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) are considered the rarest of the five species of marine turtles occurring in the coastal waters of Myanmar. We here report a recent confirmed record of D. coriacea nesting in Lampi Marine National Park (LMNP), Myanmar.

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