The number of sea turtle nests along the Andaman Sea coast had declined this egg-laying season because of a more volatile climate, a marine expert says.
Kongkiet Kittiwattanawong, a researcher at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, said yesterday a survey conducted by the centre found the number of turtle nests on the Andaman coast had decreased from 50 in recent years to only 40 this year.
He said the turtles had probably stopped coming to the nesting grounds due to the effects of global warming.
Their breeding season runs from November until March. The turtles look for a quiet environment with an ideal temperature of about 29 degrees Celsius to lay eggs. However, temperatures in the nesting areas this season have been above and below 29 degrees.
Mr Kongkiet said hundreds of leatherback turtles started laying eggs on Mai Khao beach in Phuket 20 years ago, but this year only one nest was found on the beach.
Thailand is home to four endangered species of sea turtle: the Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Green and Hawksbill.