Description, Diet, Adaptions and Importance
The Hawksbill Turtle got its name because of the shape of its beak looks like a birds. These Turtles are smaller then the Green Sea Turtle. You can easily identify these turtles because they have a beak that is like a parrot and their shell is jagged. The difference between males and females is that females have shorter tails but males have longer ones. The Hawksbill Turtle feeds on sponges and this helps the fishes of The Great Barrier Reef. Their mouth is adapted to sneak into small spaces and get sponges.
Early Life and Threats
The first 15 years of a turtles life is called the mystery years because scientists don't know what the hawksbill turtles are doing! The Hawksbill Turtle is classified Critically Endangered for many reasons. In the past 100 years there has been a 90% decline in this species. They often get trapped in fishing nets and are made into many products such as hair combs, hand bags and jewellery! They will often call it Tortoise Shell. Rubbish is another massive threat. Only one out of 1000 will survive to be an adult. But scientists think that may be less now because of human threats. Some natural predators are crabs, monitors, dingos, seagulls and sharks. Another threat is that the temperature of the nest determines the gender but with heat increasing because of Global Warming they will all be females and eventually there will be no males to mate with.
There are conservationists that locals and have successfully educated them how to protect marine habitats. Marine Turtles often get caught in fishing nets but there is a special net where the Turtle can escape. But not every fishing boat has one. Some islands find turtles sacred and can't touch them! Many organisations clean up beaches. Many wildlife hospitals treat injured Sea Turtles and realise them back into the wild when they get better.
How You Can Help
- Not using plastic bags, instead use green bags
- Don't buy Turtle products or meat, if you are not sure if its fake just don't buy it (they usually call it Tortoise shell)
- Reduce Reuse Recycle
- Make rubbish into art
- Pick up rubbish
- Don't use single use plastics (plastic straws, spoons, knifes, forks and plates)
- Refuse plastic water bottles
- Only buy sustainable seafood
- Be a responsible fishermen
- Start Seal The Loop in your local area
- Get Solar Panels
- Spread the message