Endangered Spotlight: Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Hawksbill sea turtle / Eretmochelys imbricata
Current conservation status: Critically endangered
Population (estimate): 20,000-23,000

Tchami / Flickr

The Hawksbill 30L Hiking Backpack was named after the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle, whose shell is valued for its magnificent patterns and colors. 

About

These sea turtles won’t be riding any currents like the ones in Finding Nemo. However, you may find them munching on a patch of sponge in a coral reef since that is the hawksbill sea turtle’s favorite snack.

The hawksbill sea turtle is a critically endangered species native to the tropical reefs of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. They were first listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered in 1982, but were moved to Critically Endangered in 1996. Having been hunted by humans for many years, these turtles have been struggling to make a comeback despite being protected by anti-poaching laws.

Threats

  • Hunted by humans – Hawksbill sea turtles are hunted for their shells, which are commonly used to produce a material called tortoiseshell, and meat.
  • Predators – Animals such as seabirds may feed on young turtles and eggs, interfering with the hawksbill sea turtle’s road to recovery.

Conservation Efforts

  • Protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I
  • However, illegal poaching still continues as the tortoiseshell industry did not cease in Japan until 1992.

What You Can Do

The easiest way to help protect sea turtles is to donate to an organization that is committed to the cause. You can also go on a “conservation tour” in places including Costa Rica and Cuba where you can get up and personal with sea turtles as your learn more about them.

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