Hawksbill Turtle

Hawksbill turtles have seen an increase in the Caribbean, but protection of the turtle in both terrestrial and marine habitats is still needed throughout much of the world.

The current “Critically Endangered” assessment on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species clearly demonstrates the importance of protection in both terrestrial and marine habitats.

With protection, some populations have stabilized, and others are now increasing, most notably in the Caribbean. The increases documented in the Caribbean coincide with dramatic reductions in take on the foraging grounds of Cuba which have, in effect, spared tens of thousands of large hawksbills since the early 1990s. Such increases provide hope for the future, but unfortunately are still the exception rather than the rule. Similar results are needed elsewhere.

In order to succeed in keeping hawksbill turtles in existence, there must be cooperation among all nations that have hawksbill populations in their waters. Free exchange of information on the turtles is needed to ensure that all nations are aware of the best and most efficient ways of keeping hawksbill turtles in existence.

Sources: (Bjorndal, 1999; Edelman, 2004; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Pilcher; WWF)
Image: Gerwin Sturm


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