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Hawksbill turtles

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Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of BarbadosCommon Name: Hawksbill - named because its narrow head and large beak make it look like a hawk.

Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata.


Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of BarbadosStatus: 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 BarbadosRange: 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 BarbadosCharacteristics: 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.

Hawksbill turtle fimed off the coast of BarbadosHabitat: 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 turtles released on the west coast of  BarbadosNesting: 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.

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