Conservation Status

  • National:Vulnerable

Distribution and Habitat

  • Seaweed-rich coral reefs
  • Inshore seagrass pastures
  • Tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific

Breeding & Nesting

  • Late November to January
  • Southern Great Barrier Reef
    13 major rookeries, including North West Island, Wreck Island, Hoskyn Island, Heron Island and the Coral Sea Cays.
  • Northern Great Barrier Reef
    5 major rookeries, including Raine Island and nearby Cays, and Bramble Cay in the Torres Strait.
  • Southeastern Gulf of Carpentaria
    3 major rookeries at Bountiful, Pisonia and Rocky Islands.
  • North west Western Australia
    Major rookeries, including the Lacepede Islands, sites north of Broome, Muiron Islands, Jurabi Coastal Park and Barrow and the Monte Bello Islands further south.
© John Easley


  • Emerge late December to April


  • 4 pairs of large scales on either side (costal scales)
  • No thick overlapping scales
  • Carapace high domed
  • Colour light to dark green with dark mottling
  • Adult carapace approx. 1.0m


  • Diet – “Adult – seaweed (marine algae) and seagrass. Adults will feed on jellyfish (and other animals) when abundant but are predominantly herbivorous.
  • Immature - carnivorous
© Fiona Esszig
DBCA Logo Woodside Logo BHP Logo