Because they’re migratory and found internationally, hawksbill turtles lack demographic data and are instead evaluated using population trends and nesting activity.
It is very difficult to classify exactly how endangered hawksbill turtles are because they are migratory and found all throughout the world . Also, since there is little knowledge of their early population levels, it is very hard to know how much the populations have declined.
In some places, they may be very scarce, and in others they may thrive.
Sea turtle population trends are best diagnosed using in-water abundance estimates coupled with estimates of demographic parameters, such as survival and recruitment possibilities. However, these data rarely exist for hawksbill turtle populations and so most assessments are based on evaluating nesting trends, which assumes a close correlation between population trends and nesting activity.
Sources: (Bjorndal, 1999; Bjorndal, Bolten, & Chaloupka, 2005; Chaloupka & Limpus, 2001; Edelman, 2004; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Mortimer, Meylan, & Donnelly, 2007; Pilcher; WWF)
Image: Christian Gloor