Longevity – Water
Hawai‘ian Green Sea Turtle, Kaua‘i, Hawaii
watercolor on mounted paper, 20 x 30 inches
The Hawai‘ian Green Sea Turtle is a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, meaning that it is likely to become endangered in the near future. Nearly all species of sea turtles are listed as endangered or threatened. Hawaiian green turtles mature slowly, they may take from 10 to 60 years to reach sexual maturity. Their lifespan is generally unknown. It is thought that some species of sea turtles can live over 100 years. The female turtle lays roughly 100 eggs in a nest she digs in the sand on a beach. Only a few hatchlings per nest will survive to adulthood. Sea turtle frequently ingest marine pollutions including plastics, chemicals, and discarded fishing nets, lines, and hooks causing internal health issues. Incidental capture of sea turtles in fishing nets and shrimp trawls, can prevent sea turtles from reaching the surface to breathe. Overdeveloped coastal areas have reduced natural nesting habitats; light pollution from this development disorients hatchlings and nesting mothers. The Hawaiian green sea turtle is fortunate to have undeveloped beaches to nest on yet still faces the dangers of ocean pollution; only 100 to 350 females nest each year.