ENDANGERED: The Hawksbill Turtle
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Turtles are, perhaps, among the most revered animals on our planet; emblematic of tropical seas and a nomadic lifestyle, these beautiful sea creatures are often used by environmental organisations to symbolise their work and aims.
Image Credit: prilfish via Flickr
It comes as no surprise then - given that they are a symbol for conservationists - that the Hawksbill Turtle is critically endangered, with the global population having declined an astonishing 80% in the last 100 years. The Hawksbill turtle, on average, weighs 90-150 pounds, similar to a small person. Along with their surprising size, Hawksbill turtles have a unique pattern of overlapping scales on their shells – this makes them highly valuable in the commercial market, for the prized material of ‘tortoiseshell’.
Image Credit: Gary Rinaldi via Flickr
Hawksbill Turtles, along with all sea turtles, are the last remaining descendants of a group of reptiles that have existed on Earth for the 'last 100 million years'. This interesting factoid makes them an extremely unique creature and one that offers a rare glimpse into the past. Hawksbill Turtles are predominantly found in coral reefs, and shallow, tropical seas. How have humans contributed to their endangerment? One of the most widely shared images of this animal is a tragic one: a Hawksbill turtle, with a plastic bag lodged in its bill. These animals have become emblematic of the fight against plastic pollution, which is one of the contributing factors towards the Hawksbill’s endangerment.
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