Hawai'i Hawksbill Turtle Population

NPF worked in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park to protect its endangered hawksbill turtle population, and conduct park recovery to protect beach resources.

The summer park project trained thirteen students, college interns, and volunteers to monitor for Hawaiian hawksbill turtle activity. A total of ten turtles (six returnee and four new turtles) were monitored summer including a female turtle that the park had not seen since 2005! Another twenty-one turtle nests were documented across four beaches. The park is also providing on-site and off-site interpretation of park recovery efforts to beach visitors and communities surrounding the park by using on-site volunteer monitors that distribute information handouts and demonstrate how to appropriately view wildlife.

The goal of this project was to increase the resiliency of the park's population of endangered hawksbill turtles (which has decreased due to the loss of nesting habitat caused by climate change); expand nesting habitat by removing invasive woody plants taking over beaches; relocate at-risk nests in overcrowded sites to higher ground and less crowded sites; and provide interpretation of park recovery efforts to beach visitors and communities surrounding the park.

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