The leatherback turtle
has suffered the greatest population decline of any large vertebrate species in modern history, from 115,000 to about 25,000 between 1980 and 1990.
Unusually, leatherback turtles
are warm-blooded and the biggest turtle ever recorded was a male leatherback, known as the Harlech Turtle, that washed up dead at Harlech, North Wales in the UK in 1988.
Previous research conducted by Spotila's team showed that leatherback turtles
swimming in the warm waters off Costa Rica have very low metabolic rates.
While the other seven celebs have cute, cuddly or well-known creatures to protect, he is backing leatherback turtles
More than 35 government officials, fishers, scientists and environmental group leaders convened in late April at the International Leatherback Survival Conference to address the emergency of the Pacific leatherback turtle
, a species teetering on the edge of extinction and incapable of recovering without our help.
Spotila of Drexel University in Philadelphia, studied the leatherback turtle
, Dermochelys coriacea, one of today's largest reptiles.
The society warned that 170 species of wildlife, including seabirds, whales and the rare leatherback turtle
that travels 10,000 miles from Mexico to Wales to feed on jellyfish, all mistake the plastic bags for food, resulting in starvation and poisoning.
And he couldn't believe what he saw when a 6ft leatherback turtle
bobbed to the surface.
Above, the mountain gorilla' Giant panda and, left, an Asian elephant' Bengal tiger, left, leatherback turtle
and polar bear
Animals featuring in the programme include the mountain gorilla, leatherback turtle
, Bengal tiger and polar bear.
He said the largest ever leatherback turtle
was found off the coast of Harlech in 1988.
TONGUE TIED: Right, chameleon fly-catching (Martin Harvey, winner, Animal Portraits); above left, pelicans dive-fishing, Florida (Chris Gomersall, runner-up, From Dusk To Dawn); top left, leatherback turtle
and remoras (Michael Patrick O'Neill, Gerald Durrell Award)
The PIP'S environmental advisers have been surveying the ecological damage inflicted by the military, and have found that the target practice area is habitat for the endangered brown pelican and the leatherback turtle
, which is the world's largest turtle.
An autopsy on the largest leatherback turtle
recorded in the UK, which was washed up in Harlech, revealed that the turtle's guts were full of plastic.
Rarely turtles are washed up along our coast - a leatherback turtle
was found on Birkdale beach in 1994.