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Distribution – Population

It has suffered a great decline in its global population in the past due to exploitation (turtle soup), while a small population has survived in the Mediterranean. It breeds in the eastern parts of the Mediterranean (Turkey, Cyprus, Syria) with more than 2000 nests per year on average. Its feeding grounds are in the same areas with the loggerheads as well as in N. Africa (from Egypt to Tunisia), while some individuals frequent feeding areas in Greece and the Adriatic Sea.


  • Accidental entanglement in fishing gear
  • Degradation of nesting beaches and shrinking space available for nesting
  • Sea pollution
  • Climate change
  • Capture for exploitation (meat, body parts)

Biology – ecology

Diet: Marine plants and algae, marine and benthic invertebrates

Carapace length: up to 110 cm.

Weight: up to 80 kg

Number of eggs/nest: 110 eggs

Lifespan: may approach 100 years.

Species identification: 4 pairs of lateral carapace plates