Turtles of Tenerife
Atlantic Green Turtle
Atlantic Green Turtle
There is a variety of different turtle species which can be found in the waters of Tenerife. The first one is the, which is listed as endangered. The loss and destruction of nesting sites and habitat through poaching, dynamite fishing and human disturbance is a serious and exacerbating problem. The green turtles are the largest hard-shelled sea turtles and reach an average size of 100 centimetres in length. Hatchlings of green turtles are about 50 millimetres long. The green turtle can be found all around the world in tropical and sub-tropical oceans and mostly feed on sea-grass and algae. Exploitation has caused a drop of the number of individuals and already led to extinction of some populations.

Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle
Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle
The turtle takes its name from its bulky head, this size accommodates for its large jaw muscles required for crushing crustaceans and molluscs. To lay their eggs, females often return to the beach where they hatched even if its thousands of miles away. The species can be found in all warm and tropical waters. They are considered as an endangered species but Australia is the place that has implemented any protective legislation. Major threats to the loggerhead and other turtles alike include incidental by-catch in commercial fishing nets and loss of nesting habitats due to coastal development. Other dangers include boat strikes, pollution and marine debris.

Hawksbill Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
This species is considered as critically endangered. In addition to the cumulative threats all sea
turtles face, the hawksbill turtle is particularly susceptible to poaching and the wildlife trade as
their shells are very much sought after. The young turtles are easy to identify as their carapace is
heart-shaped, whilst during maturing, the carapaces become more elongated. As a highly migratory
species, they inhabit a wide range of habitats, from the open ocean to lagoons and even mangrove
swamps in estuaries.

Leatherback Turtle
Leatherback Turtle
This turtle can be found in tropical and temperate oceans all around the world, therefore as well in Canarian waters. It is listed as an endangered species worldwide. It is the largest living turtle and can grow up to 2.7 metres in length and the biggest individuals ever found weighted 916 kilograms. It is named for its carapace which is, unlike the other turtles, slightly flexible. The front flippers are disproportionately long when compared to the size of the body. Leatherbacks subsist almost entirely on jellyfish, their feeding nature, helps mediate jellyfish populations, constituting as a keystone species in the marine ecosystem. Humans haven't failed in having an effect on this species, where many individuals die due to mistaking plastic debris for food.

Kemp's Ridley Turtle
Kemp's Ridley Turtle
Their shells are almost as wide as they are long and coloured in a dark olive-grey. They are the rarest and smallest sea turtles to be found around the waters of Tenerife. Their status is considered as endangered, where a major threat to the Kemp's ridley is human encroachment onto their nesting grounds situated on beaches. The largest threat to the Kemp's ridley continues to be death by drowning in shrimp nets.

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