Marine Turtles

Act Now to Save Marine Turtles Facing Extinction

We Must Move Quickly To Save Marine Turtles

Marine turtles have survived for 100 million years, but now they may be gone in a few decades. All seven species of marine turtles are endangered, three critically so. Hunting and illegal egg collection are a major factor in the decline of these beautiful aquatic creatures – more than 80,000 are estimated to be killed each year.

  • Status

    Endangered to Critically Endangered

  • Population

    Unknown due to difficulty in data collection

  • Habitats

    Open water and coasts

  • Poaching

    Hunting and illegal egg collection, poaching for shells

Marine turtles are some of the oldest creatures on Earth. They range widely in size and weight from 85 – 100 pounds for the smallest all the way up to 2,000 pounds for the largest, the leatherback turtle. All species of marine turtles in our oceans are threatened.

There are seven species of marine turtles found in all warm and temperate waters throughout the world. These turtles are air-breathing reptiles built for life in the sea, their aerodynamic shape and powerful flippers enable them to swim long distances at deep depths.

These incredible creatures migrate hundreds of miles every year to nesting areas and feeding grounds. Most marine turtles rarely, if ever, return to the shore after their first journey following hatching. Females return to the land to lay their eggs.

Photo by Paul Hilton for Greenpeace (Right)

All seven marine turtle species are endangered, three critically so: leatherbacks, hawksbill, and Kemps’ Ridley turtles. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, tens of thousands of these creatures are lost each year to feed the demand from illegal markets.

With strong legislation and enforcement, we can help to insure that marine turtles will still be swimming in our oceans millions of years from now.

Photo by Paul Hilton for Greenpeace (Left) Art Wolfe (Right)

States where we're fighting to protect Marine Turtles

  • KLCC: Measure To Curb Endangered Animal Poaching On Oregon November Ballot

    August 8, 2016


  • Portland Tribune: Ballot measure would bar trade in parts from endangered and exotic species in Oregon

    July 7, 2016


  • KITV: Governor Ige signs ivory sales ban into law

    June 30, 2016


  • Washington Voters Overwhelmingly Approve New State Laws to Protect Endangered Species

    November 3, 2015

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Photo by Art Wolfe