CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES | Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Hawksbills are named for their narrow, pointed beak. They also have a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their shells that form a serrated-look on the edges. These colored and patterned shells make them highly-valuable and commonly sold as “tortoiseshell” in markets.
Hawksbills are found mainly throughout the world’s tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs. They feed mainly on sponges by using their narrow pointed beaks to extract them from crevices on the reef, but also eat sea anemones and jellyfish. Sea turtles are the living representatives of a group of reptiles that has existed on Earth and travelled 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. Source: World Wildlife Fund
Source: World Wildlife Fund
Mesoamerican Reef, Coastal East Africa, Coral Triangle
• SCIENTIFIC NAME
WHY THEY MATTER
Hawksbills help maintain the health of coral reefs. As they remove prey such as sponges from the reef’s surface, they provide better access for reef fish to feed. They also have cultural significance and tourism value. For example, for local residents in the Coral Triangle, the flow of visitors who come to admire turtles is a vital source of income.
WHY THEY ARE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
HOW YOU CAN HELP
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Source of all information provided on page: World Wildlife Fund