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Kauai Sea Turtles – Please Report When You See Them

Sea Turtles

Help Kauai Sea Turtles ~

Have you ever wanted to participate in wildlife conservation research? Do you love watching turtles? Your dream has come true! NOAA Fisheries has launched a new online survey to help report sightings of honu, or green sea turtles, with white numbers and letters temporarily placed on their shells.

Honu Count is a citizen science project that started in 2017. It’s a way for the public to engage in sea turtle research and conservation by reporting turtles they see with shell etchings around Hawai‘i. Previously, sightings were reported through phone calls or emails. This new online system makes it easier to report sightings and helps researchers more accurately track honu locations. The Honu Count survey can even be accessed through your smartphone, allowing anyone to report in real time. A map is generated on the survey, allowing the user to place a pin of the sighting, giving researchers exact coordinates of the turtle’s location.

Visit the Honu Count page to learn more. As a reminder, NOAA Fisheries encourages the public in Hawai‘i to observe turtles from a responsible distance of at least 10 feet, even when attempting to get a photo of shell etchings for reporting purposes. If you spot an injured or a Kauai Sea Turtle, please call NOAA’s Marine Wildlife Hotline: (888) 256-9840.

Photo: Honu with shell etchings spotted on Hawai‘i Island. Credit: Cass Paye

Nesting season for Kauai sea turtles is between May and September each year, so the chances of seeing turtles then are much higher. (Read other local blog posts here.)

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