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    (Click here to return to Creatures)

    (Found In Hawai'i
    and Elsewhere)
    Common Name:Honu'ea (Ho-new eh-ah) Hawksbill Turtle
    Hawksbill Enjoys The Sun
    Scientific:Eretmochelys imbricata
    Size:34 inches
    Color:Green-brown with tan markings
    Habitat:Shoreline and open ocean

    The Honu'ea, or Hawksbill Turtle is an endangered species and is protected by law. It is illegal to approach a Hawksbill Turtle any closer than 15 ft.

    The Hawksbill is native to Hawai'i. Hawai'i is one of the few places in the world where the Hawksbill population is slowly growing - thanks mostly to the conservation efforts undertaken on the Big Island.

    The Hawksbill is a medium sized turtle about 30 to 40 inches in size and weighing up to 250 pounds. The turtle's head is long and tapered and the lower jaw is V-shaped with a beak-like mouth, giving it the distinctive name.

    The Hawksbill in Hawai'i feeds mostly on sponges, which are generally toxic to most other creatures. For this reason Hawksbill meat can also be toxic to humans and animals.

    The Hawksbill nests in the months between May and January and the entire process of building the nest to the laying of the eggs can occur within one to three hours.

    You can see the Hawksbill several places on the Big Island. They frequent portions of the Hāmākua coast - but the best place to see the Hawksbill is the Punalu'u Black Sand Beach near Pāhala in the Ka'ū district. This beach is a protected sanctuary of the Hawksbill and is a favored nesting ground. You can find several turtles enjoying the sun on the beach year round - and during nesting time there is even greater activity.

    A Nice Closeup, Thanks To A Zoom Lens

    Just In From The Ocean

    The Hot Sun and Cool Waves

    A sign warns people

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    Nene photo in top graphics by Brenda Zaun