Saving our Global Voyagers:
Help WWF & Canon to Save the Marine Turtles
Three-year-old Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).
Praia do Forte, Bahia, Brazil.
In Brazil, the Hawksbill turtle is also called the real or genuine turtle, and is considered the most beautiful of all sea turtles. Its carapace has brown and yellow scales, which overlap like tiles on a roof. Its mouth is reminiscent of a hawk's bill, its shell may be as long as three feet (1 meter), and it weighs 330 pounds (150 kilos). Juvenile or subadult Hawksbill turtles are found all along the coast of north-eastern Brazil, but they nest mostly on the north coast of Bahia and Sergipe.
WWF is working to protect Hawksbills, not only by helping TRAFFIC (the wildlife trade arm of WWF) to monitor the illegal trade, but by field based projects to protect nesting beaches, and by lobbying for turtle-friendly fishery practices. WWF's Marine Turtle Action Plan for Latin America and the Caribbean includes a number of measures to achieve these goals in the region.
Hawksbills are the sole source of commercial tortoiseshell, and are still hunted for domestic trade by many countries. Its shell is used in manufacturing of jewellery, glasses frames and combs. It feeds on sponges, fish, snails and crabs.