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Florida Poacher Arrested for Stealing 107 Sea Turtle Eggs on Jupiter Island

Jul 07, 2016 05:22 AM EDT
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Florida authorities have arrested a Tequesta man for stealing more than a hundred sea turtle eggs on Jupiter Island after officials have received reports of egg poaching in the area.

The culprit, Glenn Robert Shaw, 49, was arrested by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Shaw was caught red-handed with 107 turtle eggs he stole from a female loggerhead sea turtle, 92 of which were reburied while 15 were kept as evidence.

Shaw's motive, according to Palm Beach Post, is still being determined.

“Protecting Florida’s natural resources is something we take seriously," said FWC Captain Jeff Ardelean. "We’re thankful that this individual was prevented from doing further harm to this imperiled species."

Shaw is currently facing a third-degree felony charge of five years in prison, $5,000 fine and a $3,000-bond.

According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, sea turtles are becoming more and more extinct. At present, the seven existing species of sea turtles--including the green, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback and olive ridley--are classified as endangered species.

Sea turtles are mainly becoming extinct due to human activities, where they are being fished and slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shell. Apart from poaching, sea turtles are also at risk of habitat destruction caused by fishing gears.

A study last year published in the journal Endangered Species Research revealed that climate change affects the incubation period of baby marine turtles, resulting in varying developmental rates, hatch and emergence success and embryonic sex.

"They outlived the dinosaurs and are in danger of disappearing from habitat destruction, the cruel pet trade, and live food markets worldwide," Susan Tellem, founder of World Turtle Day, told The CS Monitor.

Scientists say that everyone could help in protecting the endangered species by simply avoiding seafood that are caught by fishermen without Turtle Excluder Devices.

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