Leatherback sea turtle spotted in the Bay of Fundy

A boat full of bird watchers spotted a rare leatherback sea turtle in the Bay of Fundy during the weekend.

Leatherbacks are considered critically endangered

A leatherback sea turtle was spotted in the Bay of Fundy over the weekend. (Courtesy of Durlan Ingersoll)

A rare leatherback sea turtle was spotted by a group of bird watchers in the Bay of Fundy during the weekend.

The turtle is endangered worldwide and doesn't enter the Bay of Fundy very often because the water is too cold.

Don McAlpine, the head curator at the New Brunswick Museum, said leatherback sea turtles are more frequently seen in the Northumberland Strait than they are in the Bay of Fundy.

"The few records that we do have in the Bay of Fundy — and when I say that's probably maybe eight or 10 at the most, perhaps less than that — are all clustered around the mouth of the bay. And the turtles don't seem to come any further into the bay than around Grand Manan," McAlpine said.

McApline said the turtle was likely travelling alone.

Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles. The turtles are often seen off the coasts of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Canadian Sea Turtle Network Initiative says the waters off of eastern Canada support the highest concentration of leatherback sea turtles in the north Atlantic Ocean.

Leatherback turtles are considered to be critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.