Gallery Gate

Scientists have identified the world's 11 most threatened turtle populations. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which produced the report, hopes that it will be used as a guide to conserve the threatened animals. Three of the populations were Olive ridley turtles in the Indian Ocean. By locating populations of turtles - genetically related groups that nested, fed and moved around the same areas of an ocean - scientists showed precisely where conservation efforts are most urgently needed. They published the report in the online open access journal Plos One. Some of the "most dangerous places" for turtles are India and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. One particularly vulnerable population of loggerhead turtles relies on both India and Sri Lanka for its nesting sites. Four populations of hawksbill turtles - in the north-east Indian Ocean, the east Atlantic and the east and west Pacific Ocean - are on the most threatened list. The species is under particular threat worldwide because of huge demand for its beautiful shell, which is used to make tortoiseshell jewellery and ornaments.

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view In Pictures: Turtles in Trouble as presented by: British Broadcasting


The majority of blue whales migrate to colder waters to feed, but a BBC film crew have filmed an exceptional group that live off the coast of Sri Lanka year round. The whales are thought to take advantage of a cold water upswelling in the area that delivers large numbers of krill, their preferred food. Specialist cameramen Doug Allan and Didier Noirot got up close and personal with the world's underwater record breakers for the BBC One series Ocean Giants. Here Didier filmed the aggressive mating displays of male humpback whales off the coast of Hawaii. Bowhead whales are the fattest animals in the world. Living in arctic waters, the whales have up to 50 tonnes of body fat to keep them warm. The whales are also thought to be the longest-lived mammals on earth as their low body temperature helps them to live for up to 200 years. Grey whales undertake the longest annual migration of any known mammal, travelling from warm breeding grounds at the equator to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic. Researchers have suggested that these epic journeys could also be driven by the threat of predation from killer whales.

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view In Pictures: The Ocean's Giants as presented by: British Broadcasting

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