Sea Turtles: Species at Risk

Green sea turtle

The green sea turtle is another important species in the Mediterranean. Along with the loggerhead turtle, green turtles are the ones most frequently found in bycatch or are involved in accidents with vessels. The IUCN classifies this species as “endangered” and it is included in the Habitats Directive, CMS and the Barcelona Convention. However, its state of conservation shows no clear signs of recovery.

Hawksbill sea turtle

Hawksbill sea turtles are in danger of extinction and are listed as endangered under the Habitat Directive and Barcelona Convention. Capturing and killing hawksbills for their valuable shell, which is used to make hairclips, combs, jewelry and decorative art , is a major threat to the recovery of the species.

Leatherback sea turtle

In 1982, scientists estimated that there were 115,000 adult female leatherbacks worldwide. Recent estimates have placed the number between 20,000 and 30,000. The Pacific leatherback is in such severe decline that scientists believe they will become extinct in the Pacific Ocean within the next 30 years unless significant actions are taken to protect them very quickly.

Loggerhead sea turtle

Loggerhead sea turtles are currently listed as being threatened with extinction under the Habitat Directive, Barcelona Convention and Convention of Migratory Species. Their numbers are rapidly declining. Loggerhead sea turtles, like other sea turtle species, face many natural and human-induced threats. Scientists have determined that the capture in fishing gear and the loss of nesting habitat are major causes of the loggerhead's decline.

Olive ridley sea turtle

Olive ridley sea turtles, which are named for their olive-colored shell, are listed as threatened, with the exception of a single population that nests in Mexico, which is endangered. The decline of this species is primarily due to capture in commercial fisheries, loss of nesting habitat and continued killing of adults and poaching of eggs.