These sightings off the coast of Bundaberg, Australia, signal that they may be nesting on the Aussie coast for the first time in 25 years.
The researchers hope that they will spot mating pairs seen nesting on local beaches.
People on a whale-watching tour recently saw three rare turtle sightings, which tour operator Brett Lakey said were spectacular.
He also went on to say, “On our last tour of the season, a leatherback turtle came right between the boat and the whales,” he said.
“This is the first time we’ve seen them in years…it’s unreal to see so many in a few weeks.”
Leatherback turtle, the world’s biggest sea turtle, migrates through Queensland waters in the spring.
The sighting of the mating pair gives hope to endangered species, whose populations have shrunk by almost 99% in recent decades.
Researchers have considered whether to treat the extinct leatherback turtle as a breeder in the area, but now the whole scenario has changed. They are hoping that the turtles choose Australia to breed.
“They may have migrated to the Solomons or New Guinea, where there are still remnants of nesting leatherback turtles.
“We will do everything we can to successfully incubate the eggs, and the hatchlings will return to the sea.”
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