The Green Turtle is listed as endangered and/or threatened on July 28, 1978. The current estimated population is 145 - 1,266 female nesting on Florida beaches annually, and 214 - 768 in Hawaii. The breeding in the Florida/Mexico are listed as endangered, and the rest, such as those in Hawaii, are listed as threatened. The population in Florida appears to be stable and increasing. In Hawaii, nesting numbers have increased since the past 20 years. In Surinam, Ascension Island, and Costa Rica, the population appears to be stable. In other populations such as in Europe, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan, however, continue to decline. The conclusion of the recovery team for the Green Turtle is that the species status has not improved since it was listed.
The reason for the declining population is due to the loss of habitat. Worldwide commercial harvesting and egg poaching are the primary causes of their endangerment.
Adult Green Turtles are the largest of the hard-shelled turtles. On an average, the size of nesting females ranges from 36 - 43 inches (92-109cm). They weigh from 243 - 401 pounds (110-182kg). The carapace is smooth and colored gray, green, brown, and black. The plastron is yellowish white. The adult males can be distinguished from the adult females by their thick prehensile tail that extends much further from the posterior end of its carapace. The hatchlings weigh about .9 ounce (25g) and measure around 2 inches (50mm) in length. The carapace is bluish black, and the plastron is creamy white.
They are herbivores that feed on sea grasses and algae.