Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Conservation Status

Turtle Hatchling (c) Sea Sense
Born Free is protecting turtles in the Indian Ocean

There are seven species of marine turtle. The IUCN1 Red List of Threatened Species classes hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) turtles as ‘Critically Endangered’,  which means these species each face’ an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild’. Green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtles are listed as ‘Endangered’, which means they face ‘a very high risk of extinction in the wild’. The status of the Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is classed as ‘Vulnerable’ and that of the flatback (Natator depressus) as ‘Data Deficient’

The green turtle has been heavily exploited for turtle soup, while the beautiful shell of the hawksbill was extensively used for ‘tortoiseshell’ products.  Turtles can mistake floating plastic bags as jellyfish and starve when their stomachs become full of plastic.

1International Union for Conservation of Nature


All marine turtle species are in Appendix I.

2The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) is an international agreement between governments which provides varying levels of protection for species that are or may be in danger of extinction from international trade.

Appendix I includes species that are threatened with extinction and that are or may be affected by international trade. Commercial international trade in species listed on Appendix I is prohibited.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

Share | |