About Marine Turtles in KwaZulu Natal

Seven species of marine turtles - among the planet's most ancient seafarers - exist in the world's oceans today, frequently travelling great distances and battling to survive a plethora of threats in their will to reach maturity, breed, nest and create future generations.
These long-lived, wide-ranging characteristics make them important indicators of ocean health, and contribute to their selection by WWF as a 'Global Flagship Species'.

Five of these species have been recorded off the KwaZulu Natal coast, in the far north east of South Africa - loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, green, and olive ridley. However only the loggerhead and leatherback females are known to nest on this sandy coastline.

Of the others, green turtles can occasionally be seen foraging along the shoreline, while hawksbills are seen even less frequently, and even more rarely still, olive ridleys.
Loggerhead turtle (<i>Caretta caretta</i>) swimming in open sea. / ©: WWF-Canon / Michel GUNTHER
Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) swimming in open sea.
© WWF-Canon / Michel GUNTHER
Olive ridley turtle (<i>Lepidochelys olivacea</i>) coming out of the water. / ©: WWF-Canon / Guy MARCOVALDI
Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) coming out of the water.
© WWF-Canon / Guy MARCOVALDI

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