Forging alliances to protect Hawaiian sea turtles, other marine life and the oceans.
We’re forging alliances within the local community, other conservation organizations and government agencies to help understand and protect Hawaiian sea turtles and other marine life while promoting ocean health.
Sea Turtle Nesting Project
- Researching past and current Hawaiian nesting/hatching activities
- Assessing habitat needs and threats
- Creating a feasibility study for the potential reintroduction of a green turtle nesting colony on the island of Lana‘i
Sea Turtle Rescue and Reef Survey Project
- Recording hooked/entangled or injured sea turtles
- Documenting greens and hawksbills using photo-ID
- Monitoring fibropapilloma tumors
- Observing coral reef threats
- Reporting other protected species
Coastal and Ocean Habitat Enhancement Projects
- Derelict recreational fishing gear research and removal from coral reefs
- Marine debris research and removal from nesting beaches
- Legislative and grassroots efforts that promote ocean health
Fast Facts about Hawaiian Sea Turtles
- Hawaiʻi is home to 5 of the 7 sea turtle species in the world:
- Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea): mostly pelagic
- Loggerhead (Caretta caretta): mostly pelagic
- Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea): mostly pelagic
- Green (Chelonia mydas): pelagic and nearshore
- Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata): pelagic and nearshore
- The green turtle, known as ‘honu’ in Hawaiian, is commonly sighted basking (resting, not nesting) on rocky or sandy shorelines and while foraging, resting or mating in their nearshore coral reef habitat
- The hawksbill turtle, known as ‘honu‘ea’ in Hawaiian, inhabits the same nearshore habitats as the greens do, but is rarely seen due to its low population numbers
- All Hawaiian sea turtles are fully protected by federal and state laws, making it illegal to harass, pursue, harm, or kill them
- The greatest threats to Hawaiian sea turtle survival, besides habitat degradation/destruction, are fishing gear interactions and fibropapillomatosis (a tumor-forming disease related to the herpes virus).
You can make a difference!
To make our Tocaloma restoration project site safe for wildlife SPAWN biologists and volunteers conducted surveys to ensure that no animals would be a...
Hawaiian Program Director Cheryl King has been conducting aerial surveys of Lanai to assess green sea turtle nesting.