To Report a Dead
or Injured Sea Turtle
Call 1-800-922-5431

Lights Out Bumper Sticker
SC Sea Turtle License Plate

Atlantic Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

green sea turtleOn July 28, 1978, the green sea turtle, the second largest, was designated as endangered for the breeding colony populations in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico. On July 28, 1978, the green sea turtle was designated as threatened in areas found except where listed as endangered.They get their name from the color of their fat, not their shells, which are grayish in older animals. Green turtles are herbivorous and remain near pastures of turtle grasses. Tortuguero, Costa Rica, and south/central Florida are important nesting areas for the green turtle in the western Atlantic. Juveniles are found in South Carolina (ranging in size from 28 to 38 cm (11 to 15 in) in curved carapace length) in shallow creeks, bays, and salt marshes feeding on epiphytic green algae such as sea lettuce. Recent increases in green turtle strandings could be due to an increase in the Florida population. Nesting by green sea turtles in South Carolina is infrequent to rare.

For a more comprehensive review, please read the Green Sea Turtle Conservation Sheet.

Green sea turtle Recovery Plan

Atlantic green turtle nesting facts:
  • Nesting: June - September
  • Adult females are on average 101.5 cm straight carapace length
  • Nocturnal nesters, symmetrical crawl
  • Mean number of clutches per season 5
  • Internesting interval: 10-17 days
  • Remigration interval: 2-3 years
  • Width of Crawl = 100 cm
  • Mean sizes of eggs are 4.5 cm in diameter, 46 g in mass and 46 cc in volume
  • Mean clutch count 135 eggs
  • Mean incubation duration is 63 days but ranges from 53 to 81 days