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It's up to us all to save sea turtles from extinction. Donate online to CI today, and help turn the tide.

For more information about donating to sea turtle conservation at CI, .

Photo: © Mike Parry/Minden Pictures

Six of the seven species of sea turtle are designated as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) – Critically Endangered: The largest of the sea turtles, the leatherback is rapidly declining in many areas of the world. Off the Pacific coast of the Americas, the annual leatherback mortality rate is 33 percent.

Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) – Critically Endangered: Conservationists are trying to save the few remaining Kemp's Ridleys, the world's smallest and most endangered sea turtles. Fishing nets and coastal development continue to threaten the species.

Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) – Critically Endangered: Prized for its beautiful shell, the hawksbill has long been exploited for use in jewelry making. Though its international trade is now prohibited by CITES, illegal trafficking continues in many areas.

Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) – Endangered: The most widespread of the seven species, the green turtle was once highly sought after for its body fat – a key ingredient in the popular European delicacy, green turtle soup. Although it is now illegal to trade them in many parts of the world, green turtles and their eggs continue to be consumed by many coastal peoples.

Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) – Endangered: In one of nature's greatest spectacles, olive Ridleys come ashore simultaneously by the hundreds and thousands to nest – a phenomena known as arribadas. Though they are the most abundant of sea turtles, olive Ridleys are increasingly threatened by trawling and coastal development.

Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) – Endangered: A species that may travel thousands of miles guided by the ocean's magnetic fields, loggerheads are in grave danger due to worldwide habitat loss and incidental capture in fisheries.

Flatback (Natator depressus) – Data Deficient: Found only along the remote coast of northern Australia, flatbacks have suffered limited exploitation by humans. The species' status is uncertain.

Resources and Links
CI Wide
CABS: www.biodiversityscience.org
Priority Areas: Key Marine Regions

On The Web
The State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWoT)
IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group
IUCN Species Survival Commission
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Publications & Downloads
Report: The State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWoT) (PDF–3.2mb)
Poster: Ten Most Threatened Sea Turtles in the World (PDF–705kb)


© Nicolas J. Pilcher
The Endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is hunted for its meat and eggs.

© CI, Roderic B. Mast
Light pollution can disrupt a hatchling's ability to find its way to the sea.

© CI, George Shillinger
The leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), pictured here wearing a satellite tracking device, is the largest of sea turtles.

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Photo credits for banner images: (Greater Flamingos © Tui De Roy/Minden Pictures); (Diagonal-banded Sweetlips © Fred Bavendam/Minden Pictures);
(Madagascar Aloe © Frans Lanting/Minden Pictures); (Hippo © Frans Lanting/Minden Pictures); (Hummingbird © Pete Oxford); (Malagasy Frog © Piotr Naskrecki/CI)