Olive Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

Federal Register | Recovery | Critical Habitat | Conservation Plans | Petitions | Life History

Listing Status:    and  

General Information

The olive ridley was named for the olive color of its heart-shaped shell and is one of the smallest of the sea turtles, with adults reaching 2 to 2.5 feet in length and weighing 80 to 110 pounds. The species may be identified by the uniquely high and variable numbers of vertebral and costal scutes. Although some individuals have only five pairs of costals, in nearly all cases some division of costal scutes occurs, so that as many as six to nine pairs may be present. In addition, the vertebral scutes also show frequent division, as do the scales on the dorsal surface of the head. The prefrontal scales, however, typically number two pairs. Existing reports suggest that the olive ridley's diet includes crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, jellyfish, and tunicates. In some parts of the world, algae has been reported as its principal food.

Population detail

The FWS is currently monitoring the following populations of the Olive Ridley sea turtle 

  • Population location: Breeding colony populations on Pacific coast of Mexico

    Listing status:  Endangered

  • Population location: Entire species, except when listed as endangered under 50 CFR 224.101

    Listing status:  Threatened

    • States/US Territories in which this population is known to or is believed to occur:  California , Hawaii , Oregon
    • US Counties in which this population is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
    • USFWS Refuges in which this population is known to occur:  Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
    • Countries in which the this population is known to occur:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Federated States of Micronesia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Martinique, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen
 
Current Listing Status Summary
Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
1978-07-28 Foreign (Headquarters) Breeding colony populations on Pacific coast of Mexico
1978-07-28 Southeast Region (Region 4) Entire species, except when listed as endangered under 50 CFR 224.101

» Federal Register Documents

Federal Register Documents
Date Citation Page Title
2014-07-23 00:00:00.0 79 FR 42687 42696 Marine and Anadromous Taxa: Additions, Removal, Updates,and Corrections to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
1999-03-23 00:00:00.0 64 FR 14052 14077 (NOAA/NMFS) Endangered and Threatened Species; Regulations Consolidation; Final Rule
1980-03-19 00:00:00.0 45 FR 17588 17589 ETWP; Green, Loggerhead, and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles
1980-05-01 00:00:00.0 45 FR 29054 29055 Threatened Fish and Wildlife; Green, Loggerhead, and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles
1975-05-20 00:00:00.0 40 FR 21983 21986 (NOAA/NMFS) Sea Turtles: Proposed "Threatened" Status; 40 FR 21983 21986 ( green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas; loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta; Pacific ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea)
1976-06-16 00:00:00.0 41 FR 24378 24382 Proposed Regulations Treating 3 Turtles as Threatened Under the "Similarity of Appearance" Clause
1978-07-28 00:00:00.0 43 FR 32800 32811 Listing and Protecting Loggerhead Sea Turtles as "Threatened Species" and Populations of Green and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles as Threatened Species or "Endangered Species"
1987-06-29 00:00:00.0 52 FR 24244 24262 NOAA--Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; 52 FR 24244- 24262
Special Rule Publications
Date Citation Page Title
1980-05-01 00:00:00.0 45 FR 29054 29055 Threatened Fish and Wildlife; Green, Loggerhead, and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles
1987-06-29 00:00:00.0 52 FR 24244 24262 NOAA--Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; 52 FR 24244- 24262
1999-03-23 00:00:00.0 64 FR 14052 14077 (NOAA/NMFS) Endangered and Threatened Species; Regulations Consolidation; Final Rule
1978-07-28 00:00:00.0 43 FR 32800 32811 Listing and Protecting Loggerhead Sea Turtles as "Threatened Species" and Populations of Green and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles as Threatened Species or "Endangered Species"

» Recovery

Current Recovery Plan(s)
Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
1998-01-12 Recovery Plan for U.S. Pacific Populations of the Olive Ridley Turtle View Implementation Progress Final Revision 1
1998-01-12 Recovery Plan for U.S. Pacific Populations of the Olive Ridley Turtle View Implementation Progress Final Revision 1
Five Year Review
Date Title
2007-08-21 Olive ridley 5-yr review
2007-08-21 Olive ridley 5-yr review

» Critical Habitat

No critical habitat rules have been published for the Olive Ridley sea turtle.

» Conservation Plans

No conservation plans have been created for Olive Ridley sea turtle.

» Petitions

» Life History

No Life History information has been entered into this system for this species.

» Other Resources

NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.