Turtle Hatchling in Costa Rica
A Olive Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) hatchling. The Olive Ridley is named for its olive-colored heart-shaped shell, which changes from dark grey to olive as the turtle matures. Like other sea turtles, the Olive Ridley nests and hatch in tropical waters and then migrate to subtropical areas like the southeastern or eastern central Atlantic.
Although it is considered the most abundant sea turtle in the world with 800,000 nesting females estimated, Olive Ridleys are ranked “Vulnerable” by the IUNC. Major reasons for the ranking are habitat pollution, by-catch in fisheries (becoming caught in fishing nets), and devastating egg harvests and hunting.