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Why Love Sea Turtles?

Sea Turtles have been on Earth for more than 100 million years! They are an essential part to the environment’s biodiversity, contributing especially to the health of our beach and marine ecosystems. 


Sea turtles travel the oceans swimming thousands of miles.  Their migrations help other species such as crustaceans and algae travel to other areas where they are needed.  Different species of sea turtles have different diets and these diets have positive influences on their habitats as well as other species such as jellyfish, sea sponges, grasses and coral.  

As sea turtles nest on the beach, what is left behind decomposes and becomes a source of rich nutrients for beach grasses and other vegetation.  The root systems of beach vegetation become healthier and stronger thus preventing beach erosion and providing a healthy beach ecosystem for birds and other animals.  


Turtles are good for business.  It is exiting when you see sea turtles swimming in the ocean.  Turtle sightings play an important part in tourism, both tourists and locals alike love to watch the turtles bob in and out of the water as they come up for air, and it is always a special experience when you can see them under water while snorkeling.  If you are ever lucky enough to see a mother turtle dig her nest and lay her clutch or even see a nest hatch,  it is an unbelievable experience.  Click here for turtle watching tips.

​"The Landscaper", Green Sea Turtle 

It’s Crush! From the movie "Finding Nemo".

Did you know that they are named not for their exterior colour but for the green layer of fat found under their shell.  Their teardrop shaped shell vary in colour including brown, black, grey and olive green, yellow.  They have a flat and short mouth compared to other sea turtles.

We nicknamed them “The Landscaper”  for the way they “mow the lawn”. They are vital to keeping seagrass in calm harbours at bay, creating an ideal environment for species such as starfish and sea cucumbers to thrive. Without green turtles, the crystal clear waters of places like Deep Bay, Galleon Bay, and Falmouth Harbour in Antigua would become cloudy and murky, creating a negative impact on the entire ecosystem. 

Development of beaches resulting in habitat loss is a serious threat facing the green sea turtles. The more coastal development, the less space these turtles have to nest. There are also additional threats such as disorienting lighting and unnatural obstacles.  Learn more about threats to sea turtles here.



I’m a vegetarian!

Only plants for me, please.

Chelonia Mydas

150-400 pounds

31-47 inches

NESTS: June-November


EATS: Seagrass, Algae


Very high risk of extinction, rapid population decline

of 50-70% over the

past 10 years.

Fireworks! That’s the easiest way to recognize these stunning swimmers. The pattern on their carapace (shell) is painted with contrasting colours, resembling an explosive light show in the night. Coupled with a beak shaped like that of a hawk (hence their name), this turtle can be spotted exploring  around Antigua.


That hawk-like beak serves a very important purpose in our ocean ecosystem. Hawksbill turtles are “The Architects”, using their strong beak to munch sea sponges hidden in the corals. As they chip away at the corals in their path, they create holes and craters for many other species to thrive in the reef. Without Hawksbills and other species such as parrot fish and sea urchins that keep the keep the coral reefs clean, they will become overrun with algae, preventing them from photosynthesizing (yes, they’re like plants) and thriving.

Fishing equipment, especially nets and fishing lines, are a very big threat to their health and safety in their environment. Poaching is another great threat to the Hawksbill turtles as they are hunted for their beautiful shells. Learn more here about turtle poaching.


Antigua has a beach, resort and an oceanic rock formation are all named after this turtle species!


​"The Architect",  Hawksbill Turtle

Eretmochelys Imbricata
90-150 pounds
30-35 inches
NESTS: June-November
EATS: sea sponges, jellyfish, sea anemones
Extremely high risk of extinction, rapid population decline of 80-90% over the past 10 years.

​"The Explorer", Leatherback Turtle

Is that a boat? Nope, that’s a Leatherback; the largest sea turtle in the sea. They are also referred to as the “dinosaurs of the sea”, as their roots can be traced back more than 100 million years. Characterized by their rubbery blue-grey carapace and beastly size, these turtles can’t be missed.


It’s not just their size that’s impressive. We nicknamed Leatherbacks “The Explorer” because they have been known to dive down to 4,200 feet down, holding their breath for up to 85 minutes. To put that in perspective, the average whale holds its breath for 60 minutes.


Plastic waste has a big impact on Leatherback turtles. Because they feed on jellyfish, plastic bags and other floating debris can often be mistaken for food.  Some individuals have been found with almost 11 pounds of plastic in their stomachs. Read more about how you can reduce your plastic waste here.

WhatsApp Image 2020-10-16 at 11.03.29 AM


The temperature inside the nest determines the sex of the hatchlings. A mix of male and female hatchlings occurs when the nest temperature is approximately 85.1 degrees Fahrenheit, while higher temperatures produce females and cooler temperatures produce males.

Dermochelys Coriacea
600-1500 pounds
55-84 inches (up to 7 feet!)
NESTS: April-July
EATS: Jellyfish

Very high risk of extinction, rapid population decline

of 30-50% over the past 10 years.

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