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BARBADOS - Hawksbill turtles


Permission requested to use information from http://www.cccturtle.org/hawksbill.htm

Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of Barbados

Common Name: Hawksbill - named because its narrow head and large beak make it look like a hawk.

Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata.

Status: U.S. - Listed as Endangered (in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future) under the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act.
International - Listed as Critically Endangered (facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of Barbados
Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of Barbados

 

 

Range: Most tropical of all sea turtles. Tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Size: 30 to 36 inches in carapace length (76-91 cm).

Weight: 100 - 150 pounds (40-60 kg).

Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of Barbados

 

Characteristics: Head is narrow and has 2 pairs of prefrontal scales (scales in front of its eyes). Jaw is hawk-like and not serrated. Carapace is bony without ridges and has large, over-lapping scutes (scales) present and has 4 lateral scutes. Carapace is eliptical in shape. Flippers have 2 claws. The carapace is orange, brown or yellow and hatchlings are mostly brown with pale blotches on scutes.

Habitat: Typically found around coastal reefs, rocky areas, estuaries and lagoons.

Diet: The hawksbill's narrow head and jaws shaped like a beak allow it to get food from crevices in coral reefs. They eat sponges, anemones, squid and shrimp.

Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of Barbados
Hawksbill turtles released on the west coast of  Barbados

 

Nesting: Nest at intervals of 2, 3, or more years. Nests between 2 to 4 times per season. Lays an average 160 eggs in each nest. Eggs incubate for about 60 days.

Population Estimate*: 8,000 nesting females.


* Please understand that world wide population numbers for sea turtle species do not exist and that these are estimates of the number of nesting females based on nesting beach monitoring reports and publications from the early to mid 1990s.

The Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Florida with offices and projects in several other locations. CCC is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world! Since its founding in 1959, CCC’s work has greatly improved the survival outlook for several species of sea turtles. CCC is a world-renowned leader in sea turtle research and conservation; we thank you for joining us in our efforts!

CCC, founded by Dr. Archie Carr and others, has as its mission the protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. To achieve its mission, CCC uses research, habitat protection, public education, community outreach, networking and advocacy as its basic tools. These tools are applied in both international and domestic programs focusing on geographic areas that are globally important to sea turtle survival.

Why Sea Turtles:

CCC has chosen sea turtles as the focus of its conservation efforts in part because these ancient creatures are among the most important indicators of the health of the world’s marine and coastal ecosystems. CCC believes that whether sea turtles ultimately vanish from the planet or whether they remain a wild and thriving part of the natural world, will speak volumes about both the general health of the planet and the ability of humans to sustainably coexist with the diversity of life on Earth.

You can support Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Efforts by Joining CCC/STSL and Adopting-A-Turtle!

 

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