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WWF's Marine Turtle Conservation in the Asia Pacific region

Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) live on coral reefs where their favourite food, sponges, are most plentiful, Fiji.
21st Century Voyagers
Just two centuries ago, marine turtles roamed the oceans in their millions, gracing thousands of beaches each year as they laid their eggs.
Yet over the last 100 years numbers have dropped dramatically, and some populations have simply disappeared.

Pushed to the brink
Today, six out of the seven species are either Critically Endangered or Endangered (IUCN Red List 2003), whilst the status of the seventh species remains unknown due to insufficient information.

They may have outlived the dinosaurs - but the future of marine turtles looks bleak unless we take action now.

Six of the world's seven marine turtle species are found in the Asia Pacific Region - making this region a critical set of habitats for the survival of these ancient mariners.


Modern marine turtles arose in the oceans over 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

Marine turtle species found in Asia-Pacific

 IOSEA Year of the Sea Turtle 2006 © WWF
  • Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) - CR
  • Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) - CR
  • Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) - E
  • Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) - E
  • Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) - E
  • Flatback turtle (Natator depressus) - DD
CR = Critically Endangered
E = Endangered
DD = Data Deficient

The seventh species, Kemp’s ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), nests only in the Gulf of Mexico and forages in the Western Atlantic Ocean.