Lepidochelys olivacea EN
Nome Científico: Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz 1829)
Nomes comuns: Tartaruga Oliva (Pt), Olive Ridley Turtle (En), Tortue Olivâtre (Fr), Tortuga Golfina or Lora (Sp).
This species has a wide distribution in tropical and subtropical ocean basins, and is thought to be the most abundant.
The largest breeding colonies are located in coastal areas of Pacific Central America, Mexico, India, Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. It can also be found in Angola, Sao Tome and Principe islands and Mozambique, although there are no confirmed figures on the size of their populations.
This species is known for its behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers called “arribadas”. About 300 or more turtles climb ashore at the same time to nest, and may do so twice every breeding season. This happens on the beaches found in Costa Rica, Mexico, India, Suriname and French Guiana.
It is the smallest of sea turtles. Its carapace has six or more lateral scutes. The frontal and rear flippers have one or two visible claws, most likely on the front flipper.
Juveniles have a gray color and the adults a dark sage green.
The Olive Ridley turtle has on average 73 cm (curved carapace length) and weighs about 41 kg.
These turtles live mainly in shallow waters near the mouths of great rivers, but also in the open sea.
They have powerful jaws that helps them to feed on fish, crabs, clams, mussels, squid and shrimp.
Olive Ridley turtles reproduce every 3 years approximately, varying from individual to individual, and usually nest only 2 times per reproductive season, laying approximately 100 eggs per clutch. After about 51 days of incubation, the eggs hatch.
The global population of annual nesting females has been estimated to be around 800,000 individuals (according to estimates presented in reports and publications).