Scientific name

Chelonia mydas

Locally known as


IUCN status



The Green Turtle is one of the largest sea turtle species in the world, and is the only herbivore among them all.

Key threats

Coastal development, entanglement in abandoned fishing nets, marine debris, pollution and over-exploitation for meat, eggs and shells.

Where they're found today

 Sea turtles and their habitats are protected by UAE Federal Law No. 23 and 24 of 1999. The UAE is a signatory to the Indian Ocean South-East Asian, (IOSEA), Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding, that suggests a range of actions for the conservation of sea turtles and the protection of their habitats.

Where they're found today

They are usually found near seagrass meadows, coral reefs and bays in subtropical and tropical seas throughout the world. • Abu Dhabi’s efforts: We monitor the turtle populations constantly, providing safe havens for them in our marine protected areas, and raising awareness of the need to avoid vessel strikes among relevant communities, such as fishermen and recreational boat owners. This turtle is known to forage in UAE waters they occur at particularly high densities in our Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve where they are protected.

Fun facts

  1. Abu Dhabi hosts an estimated 6,732 turtles who use its waters for foraging.
  2. The largest Green Turtle ever found was 5 feet in length and weighed 395 kg.
  3. Green Turtles are rarely observed in the open ocean. They stay near the coastline, around islands, bays and protected shores with seagrass beds.
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