The green sea turtle, also known as the Pacific green turtle, has two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Scientific name: Chelonia mydas.
Green sea turtles were once a common inhabitant of tropical and subtropical waters, and get their name from their characteristic green coloured fat and muscle. Because green turtles feed on a lot of plant material, they grow very slowly. It can take up to 30 or 40 years for female turtles to reach maturity.
In the 1930’s to 1950’s green turtles were prolifically hunted for food, and used to make green turtle soup commercially in Europe and the United States. This demand for turtle soup, considered a delicacy, led to their dramatic decline.
This tragedy led to conservation measures being put in place to protect all species of sea turtles, and the global recovery of green turtle populations is one of conservation’s success stories.
Green sea turtles are the least encountered turtle at el Banco, with the first one recorded visiting the beach in 2017.