Green turtle

Chelonia mydas / Honu
Green Turtle
Honu use the Refuge beach for resting and nesting. Mature males are distinguished from females by their longer, thicker tails. Subadult and adult turtles residing in nearshore benthic environments are almost completely herbivorous; feeding primarily on select macroalgae and sea grasses. The common name “green sea turtle” is derived from the color of their body fat, which is green from the limu (algae) they eat. Adult honu can weigh up to 500 pounds and are often found living near coral reefs and rocky shorelines where limu is plentiful.
Females may lay up to 6 clutches per season, often returning to the same site for each clutch every 12-15 days. Each clutch contains approximately 100 eggs and sex determination is temperature dependent. Incubation takes about 60 days. Upon hatching, the young turtles crawl from the beach to the open ocean. When their shells grow 8-10 inches long, they move to shallow feeding grounds in lagoons, bays, and estuaries. They graze in pastures of sea grasses or algae but may also feed over coral reefs and rocky bottoms. Young honu are omnivorous (eating both animal and plant matter), adults are vegetarians. Growth rates seem to vary depending on where the turtles live.

Evidence shows that Hawaiian honu only migrate throughout the 1,500-mile expanse of the Hawaiian Archipelago, and so make up a discrete population. Hatchlings and juveniles live in pelagic waters, but little is known of their specific distribution.
Litter and other marine debris can prove deadly when they entangle honu or are mistaken for food and ingested. Plastics are particularly harmful as they may remain in the honu's stomach for long periods of time, releasing toxic substances. Ingested plastics also can clog the digestive system. Noise, lights, and beach obstructions are disruptive to nesting areas and rats, mongooses, and dogs prey on the eggs.

Honu populations have declined dramatically in the Pacific islands. Overharvest of turtles and eggs by humans is by far the most serious problem. Other threats include habitat loss, capture in fishing nets, boat collisions, and a disease known as fibropapillomatosis. While this species is declining throughout most of the Pacific, in the Hawaiian Islands, honu are demonstrating some encouraging signs of population recovery after years of protective efforts.

Facts About Green turtle


Green turtles eat macroalgae and sea grasses


Green turtles like open beaches, open sea, and feeding grounds in shallow, protected waters