The shell of an adult hawksbill sea turtle consists of about a dozen overlapping scales colored with streaks of gold, brown, orange, and red. Hawksbills have long been hunted for their shells—the ancient Romans, for example, fashioned the scales into combs and rings.
Hawksbill scales are still being carved and polished into decorative and functional objects—tortoiseshell jewelry, trinkets, sunglasses. But the difference today is that killing hawksbills is forbidden. That’s been the case since 1977, when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the body that regulates cross-border trade in wildlife, assigned the hawksbill sea turtle its highest level of protection.
Meanwhile, the International Union for the Conservation of N...Read More