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The Conservation of Hawksbill Turtles

            Hawksbill turtles are critically endangered and on the brink of extinction. Hawksbill turtles prefer coastlines over deep water areas because more food is available to them and they can find suitable sandy nesting sites. This exposes them to the risk of accidentally being trapped by equipment used for fishing, such as fishing hooks, gillnets, and explosives used in dynamite fishing. Although they are specially protected by a conservation law called CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), they are still in danger from illegal trade. This is because of their carapace (shell) or "tortoiseshell" which is in high demand by humans for items such as jewelry, combs, furniture, and ornaments. Further risks include dangers to their habitat, food source, and nesting. The environment in which they live is densely populated therefore resulting in problems such as pollution, boat strikes and changes to the coastline. Hawksbill turtles contribute greatly to the condition of coral reefs by removing sponges thereby exposing food for the reef fish and other marine mammals to feed. Furthermore, the importance of these turtles is that they provide a big economic benefit because of tourism value.
             In order to conserve the Hawksbill population my biological solutions, we must establish larger protection area zones and try to enforce it by law. Feeding and habitat regions can be determined to ensure that the turtles are protected in these areas. If the scientists know where exactly the turtles are they can take measures to warn and stop fisherman. Satellite tracking is an important method used for this purpose as a solution. Other biological solutions would be addressing the impact of climate change to help scientists incorporate climate change into conservation programs. Another approach would be to create more sanctuaries dedicated specifically for Hawksbill turtles as a matter of urgency.

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