• Animals in Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lankan Animals, Animals of Sri Lanka

Hawksbill Turtle

The Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a marine turtle that is listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union as a result of poachers seeking its beautiful ‘tortoise-shell’, which is commercially valuable, human consumption of tortoise flesh & eggs in addition to the reptile getting wedged in fishing gear. In appearance it is dark golden brown in colour with reddish orange streaks, its most distinctive feature being the thick scutes that make up its hard upper shell. The Hawksbill turtle is relatively small to medium in size with an elongated head that tapers into a pointed hawk-like beak. Its habitat is mainly coral reefs and shallow lagoons where it feeds on sponges, fish, sea anemones and jellyfish amongst others.