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Sea Turtles

Did You Know?

green sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
As adults, green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas)
feed mainly on seagrass and algae.
~Photo courtesy of Andy Bruckner, NOAA~
  • Sea turtles arrive in New York every year in late June as water temperatures rise. By mid-November, they migrate south in search of warmer waters. If they do not migrate south in time, they can get stunned by New York's cold waters leaving them immobile and stranded. If you see a stranded sea turtle on New York's beaches, call the Riverhead Foundation's Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Hotline immediately (link leaves DEC website).
  • All sea turtle populations are either threatened or endangered and are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
  • Leatherback sea turtles are the largest of all sea turtle species, weighing over 1,000 pounds and growing up to six feet long! Strangely enough, their diet consists primarily of jellyfish!

Read more about sea turtles in the Sea Turtles of New York State Brochure (PDF, 277 KB) and find more facts about each sea turtle by clicking on the links below! You may also download a sea turtles poster (PDF, 273 KB) from the Conservationist magazine.

New York's Sea Turtles

Green Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Leatherback Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle

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  • Division of Marine Resources
    205 N. Belle Mead Rd.
    Suite 1
    East Setauket, NY 11733
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