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Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) The Hawksbill turtle has been protected by the Endangered Species Act since 1970. The Hawksbill goes through many stages in life, starting from a mad race to the sea as a hatchling, to drifting in the open ocean as a juvenile, to a life on the reef as an adult. It is critical that the nesting sites for turtles are protected, beccause turtles will swim hundreds of miles to return to their nesting sites every 2-3 years. If these nesting sites are disturbed, the number of hatchlings is diminished. Protection and conservation efforts are ongoing worldwide to protect this valuable species.