Common Name: Hawksbill - named for its narrow head and hawk-like beak.
Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata
Description: The hawksbill is a smaller sea turtle with a narrow head and 2 pairs of prefrontal scales in front of its eyes. It is different than other sea turtles in that its jaw is not serrated. The hawksbill's bony carapace has no ridges, but has large, over-lapping scales and 4 lateral scales, and the overall carapace shape is that of an ellipse. 2 claws can be seen on every flipper. The color of carapace varies from orange, brown or yellow, while hatchlings are mostly brown with pale blotches on scales.
Size: Adult hawksbill sea turtles have a carapace length of 76-91 cm, which is 2.5 to 3 feet.
Weight: Adult hawksbills can have a weight of 40-60 kg, which is between 100 to 150 pounds.
Diet: With a narrow head and jaws shaped like a beak, the hawksbill can get food from crevices in coral reefs. Sponges, anemones, squid and shrimp are all what they mainly feed on as part of their diet.
Habitat: The hawksbill sea turtle usually lives around coastal reefs, rocky areas, estuaries and lagoons.
Nesting: Hawksbills nest every 2, 3, or more years. They nest between 2 to 4 times every season and 160 eggs on average in each nest. The time needed for the eggs to incubate is about 60 days.
Range: Most tropical of all sea turtles. Tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Status: U.S. - Listed as Endangered by U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act, which tells us that they are in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future.
International - Listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, in other words, they are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future.
Threats to Survival: The greatest threat to hawksbill sea turtles is the harvesting for their prized shell, which is also known as "tortoise shell" and is still used to make hair ornaments, jewelry, and other decorative items in some countries.
Population Estimate: 22,900 nesting females.