Hawksbill Turtle

Want to find a hawksbill turtle? So did a lot of scientists. They had not been seen in the eastern Pacific Ocean for more than 5 decades. But searching paid off and they have been discovered. Now there has been a great deal scientists have learned about hawksbills and their habitat.

These guys have been found near Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Scientists have been tracking them using satellite trackers glued to the backs of the turtles.

They are found in the mangrove forests in estuaries of the eastern Pacific.These are the nesting areas. Scientists have worked with local fishermen and sometimes with illegal egg poachers to trap the animals long enough to tag them.

Because the turtles are so hard to see in the mangrove forests, the were undetected for a long time. And because they were undetected, many of them stay in the estuaries for their whole lives.

Scientists are not sure why the forest areas were chosen. They think it might be because the coral reefs that were the natural habitat of the turtles are not plentiful in this area.

The hawksbill turtles are one of the world's most critically endangered species. That is why scientists are so excited to be able to study them. They know very little about them but are learning more each day. They are hoping that what they learn will help re-populate the sea turtle population of the area.