Hawksbill Sea Turtle
A critically endangered turtle
My illustration for Animal Alphabets, letter #H - Hawksbill Sea Turtle.
Among the sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) shows a characteristic tapered head and a particularly beautifully patterned shell. Indeed the turtle has been hunted for centuries to exploit its shell as a decoration endangering the species survival. It's estimated that the population has declined 80% in the last 100 years and the hawksbill sea turtle was enlisted as critically endangered in 1996, even though the hunt was illegal since many years (source Wikipedia). Nowadays not poaching is not the only danger, but pollution and destruction of the nesting sites due to coastal development are the main threats to the turtles (source WWF).
In my illustration the turtle protects her eggs on a floating nursery.