Quick guide to the Sea turtles of Mexico – Part 2
Hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata.
Description: Is one of the smaller sea turtles, the head is narrow and the carapace has over-lapping scutes (scales) present with 4 lateral scute. Flippers have 2 claws and carapace is orange, brown or yellow with a yellow or white plastron. Hatchlings are mostly brown with pale blotches on scutes.
Adults size average: 2.6 feet
Adults weigh average: 176 pounds
Diet: The 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.
Habitat in Mexico: Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribean Sea.
Nesting: Nest at intervals of 2-4 years. They lay 3 to 5 nests per season, approximately 15 to 20 days apart. Lays an average of 160 eggs per nest. Eggs incubate for about 47-75 days.
Red List of Threatened Species of IUCN Status: Listed as Critically endangered to the extinction and decreasing number of mature individuals.
Threats to Survival: Recent and historical tortoiseshell trade statistics are key to understanding the enormous and enduring effect that trade has had on hawksbill populations around the world. In some countries the shell is still used to make hair ornaments, jewelry and other decorative items. Others threats are pollution, overfishing and climate change.
Population Estimate: 20,000 – 23,000 nesting females.
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
- Sea Turtles guide