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Leatherback Sea Turtles

Virgin Islands Sea Turtles

Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtle Hatchling

 Here in the Virgin Islands we love our SEA TURTLES! The community has many programs and non-profit organizations advocating for our turtles so we like to think they love us back! 

Green Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle

About Sea Turtles


  • Diet
  • Common items include jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, shrimp, sponges, snails, algae and mollusk.

  • Behavior
  • Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the water, where not much information can be gathered on their behavior. Most of what is known about sea turtle behavior is obtained by observing hatchlings and females that leave the water to lay eggs. Sea turtles, like salmon, will return to the same nesting grounds at which they were born. When females come to the shore, they dig out a nest in the ground with their back flippers, bury their clutch of eggs and return to the ocean. After hatching, the young may take as long as a week to dig themselves out of the nest. They emerge at night, move toward the ocean and remain there, solitary, until it is time to mate.

  • Population
  • It is difficult to find population numbers for sea turtles because male and juvenile sea turtles do not return to shore once they hatch and reach the ocean, which makes it hard to keep track of them.

Sea Turtles of the Virgin Island

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park websites explains that two endangered sea turtles, the hawksbill and the green, are commonly seen in St. John’s waters. The hawksbill, shown here, comes ashore on remote St. John beaches to dig its nest and lay eggs. After burying the eggs in the warm sand, the female returns to offshore waters. When the youngsters hatch, they instinctively turn toward the sea. Despite laws protecting them in some countries, they are still hunted in some areas for their shells and meat.

 Sea Turtle Information & Organizations

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

  •  They also have worked rehabilitating injured Sea Turtles and releasing them back into the Ocean with non invasive trackers. Would you like to see where these Turtles have been? Check out their live migration maps here!

Have you ever been to the Virgin Islands and spotted a Sea Turtle while snorkeling? Share your story with us below!

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Posted in Wildlife of the Virgin Islands

Tagged Leatherback Sea Turtles, Sea Turtles, St John Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Sea Turtles,