Hawksbill Sea Turtles

  • Hawksbill
    Hawksbill   The hawksbill sea turtle Eretomochelys imbricate.   Photo by Dennis Liberson.
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Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretomochelys imbricate) are listed as “endangered” and are extremely rare in Chesapeake Bay. Only two have been reported since 1979, and these are considered “strays.” Their length was 28 cm (11 in). Hawksbills are more typically found in tropical and subtropical waters feeding on sponges, corals, and fish. This turtle is the source of "tortoise shell;"  the trade for this material has been banned by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).


Listed as "Endangered"


Adults are ~76 - 89 cm (30 - 35 in), 100 - 200 lbs.

Sexual Maturity


Nesting Habitat

Tropical/subtropical; a few nest in Florida; under beach vegetation

Juvenile Habitat

Caribbean, South/Central America


Sponges, corals, fish