How many endangered sea turtle species are there? There are seven species of sea turtles.
These five of the seven species are listed as endangered or critically endangered:
- Green Sea
- Kemp's Ridley
- Pacific or Olive Ridley
The Leatherback, Hawksbill and Atlantic Ridley turtles are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
According to Conservation International, sea turtles are categorized in two groups. Dermochelyidae has one species, which is the leatherback sea turtle. The Cheloniidae family comprises the remaining six species.
The seven species of sea turtles include flatbacks, which live on the continental shelf of Australia, Indonesia or the coast of Papua New Guinea. Colorful, flatbacks are yellow with grey or green and can weigh up to 198 pounds.
The hawksbill lives in the waters off Australia, Indonesia or along the coast of Papua New Guinea. It can breed on the southern region of the Great Barrier Reef. With its beak-like mouth, the hawksbill is indigenous to waters all over the world, including the Gulf of Mexico, Bahia, Hawaii, the Japanese archipelago, New Zealand, and northwest coastal Australia. Mature adults are about three feet long and weigh 350 pounds.
Green sea turtles are herbivores. They live on islands in the Caribbean, southern Atlantic, and along the eastern coast of the United States.
The biggest nesting grounds for the loggerhead turtle is South Florida and Masirah Island in Oman.
According to Green Packs, the leatherback turtle is the largest of the sea turtles; only crocodiles are larger reptiles. The largest known leatherback sea turtle weighed nearly 2000 pounds.
On the other end of the spectrum is Kemp’s Ridley, which is the smallest sea turtle. Adults are about three feet long and only weigh about 100 pounds.
Accounts vary, but sea turtles are believed to have lived on the planet for 110-to-120 millions years. Leatherbacks range the widest. They are found in every tropical and subtropical ocean, from Alaska, Norway to Cape Cod and New Zealand. These marine testaments to survival endured ice ages, out-lived the dinosaurs and every imaginable planetary catastrophe.