By Cadence (Catie) Summers, IV Form
Green Sea Turtle – Chelonia mydas & Marine Turtle Exhibition
Green Sea Turtle – Chelonia mydas
Stage in Maturity – Adult
Habitat: Green Sea Turtles are the most common turtles in the waters that surround Hawaii. Hawksbill, Leatherback, Loggerhead, and Olive Ridley also live in the area, but their populations aren’t as abundant as the Green Sea Turtle. Many of the Green Sea Turtles are found in the coastal waters of the Hawaiian island Maui. They are found resting under underwater ledges, nibbling on algae, their main diet, in shallow waters, or basking on beaches, which has only been known to happen in Maui, Australia, and the Galapagos Islands. The average mature Green Sea Turtle is between 250-400 lbs, although some have been known to hit 500
Status: In the United States, Green Sea Turtles have been dubbed ‘threatened’ after they were downlisted from ‘endangered’ in 2016. The average mature Green Sea Turtle is between 250-400 lbs, although some have been known to hit 500 lbs. Despite their name being Green Sea Turtle, the turtles themselves aren’t green. They get their name from the greenish hue of their internal fat which is due to the large majority of their diet being algae.
How are they affected by pollution: Much of the pollution in the Maui area is due to “traveling garbage”. In general, Maui and all of the other Hawaiian islands are very good at keeping their waters clean as the biosphere and hydrosphere in Hawaii bring in a huge number of tourists each year. Unfortunately, plastics, some being of microscopic size, are finding their way into turtle habitats in Hawaii due to ocean and wind currents. Sea Turtles often find themselves, victims of plastic pollution, because their food is contaminated by plastic or they eat the plastic thinking its food. To take action, many Hawaiian groups and organizations have begun to raise awareness of the various pollutants and have started to emphasize the importance of ocean health and protection.
Catie Summers is a IV Form student from Amherst, New Hampshire. She enjoys playing field hockey and traveling.