Hawksbill Sea Turtle
The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are found in the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They prefer the coastlines to be near reefs rich in the sponges that they like to feed on. They are named for their narrow, pointed beak. Hawksbill's have a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their shells that form a serrated-look on the edges. These beautiful, translucent shells make them highly-valuable, and are commonly sold as “tortoiseshell” in markets. This beauty, has also been the largest contributor to why they have landed on the Endangered Species List.
The decline in this species is primarily due to Illegal Wildlife Trade - human exploitation for tortoiseshell and the human consumption of their eggs. Other threats include loss or degradation of nesting and feeding habitats, coastal development, disorientation of hatchlings by beachfront lighting, nest predation, pollution, and fishery-related mortality.
By most estimates, approximately 20,000 female hawksbill sea turtles are left in the world.
The Hawksbill Sea Turtle is considered to be a Critically Endangered Species -- which is defined as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the Wild.
Hawksbill Sea Turtle Facts
Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata
Status: Listed as Critically Endangered
Size: Adult Hawksbill Sea Turtles have been known to grow up to 3 feet in length and can weigh up to 176 lb on average. The heaviest Hawksbill ever captured weighed 280 lb.
Age: They have a life span of 30 - 50 years.
Habitat: The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are found predominantly in the tropical reefs of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans.
Nesting: Nest at intervals of 2 to 4 years. Lays an average of 160 eggs in each nest. Eggs incubate for about 60 days.
Population Estimate: Approximately 20,000 to 23,000 nesting females.
Why They Matter
Hawksbill Sea Turtles are the living representatives of a group of reptiles that has existed on Earth in our seas for the last 100 million years. They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds.
*Hawksbill Sea Turtle information from World Wildlife Fund, IUCN Red List and Sea Turtle Conservancy.
For the Hawksbill Sea Turtle we donate to the Sea Turtle Conservancy.