Record number of endangered baby turtles hatched on Mexican beach

One of the baby turtles.
One of the baby turtles. Photo credit: Getty

Record numbers of an endangered turtle have hatched on a Mexican beach, thought to be the result of reduced human activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The indigenous Seri community in Sonora, northern Mexico, says it released more than 2250 olive ridley sea turtles into the Gulf of California - it usually releases around 500. 

The BBC reports reduced fishing and tourism has meant the turtle nests have not been as disturbed as they usually are. 

The species is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. 

While coronavirus has devastated the world, the drop in human activity has caused temporary drops in pollution.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns caused the largest-ever drop in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution - bigger than that during the global financial crisis a decade ago.

A July study found greenhouse gas emissions dropped 2.5 gigatonnes - 4.6 percent. The researchers found as the "economic contagion" spread, emissions dropped, likely saving "thousands of lives" in the process.

Seven weeks of lockdown in New Zealand saw air pollution levels drop 75 percent, NIWA said in May.

But the effect of the drop in emissions will be near insignificant - an estimated overall temperature drop of 0.0050.01C by 2050.

Professor Dave Reay, chair of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh, says this is not surprising "given the long lifetime of carbon dioxide and the massive pool of fossil carbon already swilling around in our atmosphere."