Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

Olive Ridley Turtle

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Closely related to Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, the Olive Ridley also prefer shallow soft-bottomed ocean habitats. Also like the Kemp’s Ridley, they are found in tropical and subtropical distribution around the world.  In Australia, they can be found all along the coast of Queensland.

Along with the Kemp’s Ridley, the Olive Ridley is considered one of the smallest marine turtle species.  They can weigh up to 45 kg (100 lbs) and measure up to 70 cm (2.5 ft).

They are known to be a solitary species, but also perform arribadas during nesting season.  This is the only time of the year they are known to come together as a group.

They can be distinguished from the circular to heart-shaped carapace and olive-green colouration from which it has received its name.

Considered to be the most abundant sea turtle species in the world, with about 800,000 nesting females.  However, it is suspected to be facing decreasing numbers.

They are a carnivorous species, feeding on jellyfish, snails, and crabs.

Main Threats

The Olive Ridley faces challenges such as marine pollution, by-catch from fishing, and poaching of eggs and individuals for food.

Conservation Status

IUCN Listing: VULNERABLE
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015
Australian Government: ENDANGERED
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Queensland: ENDANGERED
Nature Conservation Act 1992
Western Australia: ENDANGERED
Wildlife Conservation Act 1950