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The Hawksbill is a very attractive turtle with its very powerful parrot like beak and olive-green shell. very common around the area, It is one of the longest lived turtles and takes over 30 years to reach sexual maturity. The scales of head and face are often dark with pale contrasting sutures (lines between the scales) and it is cream to yellowish below (the plastron). Hawksbill hatchlings are a brown-black colour. There are four large scales on each side of the shell Adult females’ average carapace (shell) length is 82cm and weight is 50kg.

Habitat and distribution: Hawksbills forage over coral reefs, rock outcroppings, and seagrass beds. Australia has some of the largest remaining nesting populations of hawksbill turtles. Approximately 6000-8000 nest on the Great Barrier Reef. Worldwide it is estimated that the hawksbill population has declined by 80 percent from one century ago.
Diet: The majority of their diet consists of sponges, although they also feed on seagrasses, algae, soft corals and shellfish.

Behaviour and life history: Hawksbill turtles have a sharp pointy beak that they use to pick sponges out of cracks and crevices in coral reefs. They mature slowly and may not reach reproductive age until 30 years. Females lay between one to six clutches per season with an average of 122 eggs. Females will only nest every two to four years. After the hatchlings emerge from the nest they swim for several days out into the sea. They then spend approximately five to 10 years drifting in the ocean and return to the coastal areas of Australia at about 38cm long.

Threatening processes : All marine turtle species are experiencing serious threats to their survival. The main threats are pollution and changes to important turtle habitats, especially coral reefs, mangrove forests and nesting beaches. The hawksbill turtle is prized for the scales of its carapace (shell).
hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle Cruising
Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle up close