Photo: Douglas Shea
The two types of sea turtles most frequently observed in Hawaii are the green sea turtle and the hawksbill sea turtle. Three other species may occur, but are very rarely seen in our coastal waters. The green sea turtle is listed as a threatened species under federal and state law. Hawaii's green sea turtles have shown a good population recovery in recent years, although they are still plagued with a papilloma virus that causes disfiguring tumors. Hawksbill sea turtles, listed as an endangered species, are sighted much less frequently than the greens. For more information on sea turtles, visit the NOAA marine turtles site and the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office turtle site.