Turtles

There used to be three native turtle species of Mauritius. Human disturbance means that now only two species are occasionally seen, but both are threatened with extinction.

 Green turtle Chelonia mydas

 

This marine turtle is the larger of the two turtles that are occasionally seen within the lagoons and surrounding oceans. The green turtle's common name comes from the fact that their fact is green. The shell can vary in colour from dark brown to brown-black to olive-grey. They have one claw on each flipper, the scales of which usually have a yellow border. They occasionally nest on the beaches around Mauritius.

 Hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata

 

The hawksbill turtle can occasionally be seen in the shallow lagoon waters around Mauritius. It is smaller than the green turtle with a shell that is mottled with dark brown, golden brown and reddish brown dashes. It has two claws on each flipper, a sharp curved beak and a serrated margin to the back of the shell, which distinguishes it from other marine turtles. It very rarely nests in Mauritius, because of the high levels of disturbance.