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life's not easy being green Green Turtle

Hear all about it!

Green Turtles live in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the world.  

Feeding grounds are in seagrass meadows and around reefs. Nesting grounds are sheltered, sandy beaches. Male and female Green Turtles move from their feeding grounds to areas near nesting beaches to breed. In doing this, they can migrate more than 2600 km. Female Green Turtles breed every 1 to 9 years.

After mating, the females crawl up onto the beach to lay their eggs and the males go back to the feeding grounds. Nesting (egg-laying) takes place on several different nights and can take place on multiple beaches. The females usually stay in the shallow water within 5–10 km of the beach between nesting episodes. To develop and hatch properly, marine turtle eggs must be buried in aerated, moist sand. This means there has to be air in-between the sand particles and the nest beach cannot be flooded. The temperature has to be between 25°C and 33°C. The temperature of the nest sex controls the sex of the hatchlings. Nests at or below 26°C will produce all male hatchlings, and nests at or above 29°C producing all female hatchlings.

Hatchling sea turtles emerge from their nests at night and move down to the sea. They are guided by light. The sea horizon is brighter compared to the darker shadows of dunes and vegetation.  Once they reach the water’s edge, the hatchlings swim out to sea and are then carried by currents while they are still very small. When they are bigger and stronger, juveniles swim long distances against the current to get back to the coastal habitats where they live as adults.

Threats include; pollution by rubbish and oil spills, entanglement or ingestion of marine debris, rising sea temperatures caused by climate change.

Where you can find a Green Turtle

Conservation Status

Listed as Endangered under ICUN (2014). The EPBC Act classifies Green Turtles as Vulnerable.The waters around Rottnest Island are a designated Marine Reserve.
  • Extinct
  • Extinct in Wild
  • Critically Endangered
  • Endangered
  • Vulnerable
  • Near Threatened
  • Least Concerned

Help protect Rottnest's marine environment

  • Do enjoy watching them on their own terms
  • Do take litter with you or use bins provided
  • Do collect fishing line if seen in ocean or on shores

Got a suggestion?

We're always open to feedback on how we can improve Rottnest Island for our visitors and wildlife!