From December to March female green sea turtles voyage to the Galapagos Islands from far and wide to lay their eggs on beaches on Santa Cruz and Isabela Islands, and others across the archipelago. Once mature, the graceful creatures take to the sea and are often seen in places like the bay at Bartolome Island and Los Tuneles on Isabela.
While a common sight when swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking in the Galapagos Islands, the green sea turtle is only seen in a few places in the world. They can grow up to five feet in length and weigh as much as 500 pounds.
They are the only vegetarian members of their species, feeding in shallow waters on seagrass and algae. The species make long journeys, dodging predators including Orca whales, to get to their destination when migrating.
National Geographic reported on an adult male who traveled from Cocos Island Marine National Park in Costa Rica to the archipelago in 14 days. The 400-mile trek is becoming known as a migratory path between the two reserves used by sharks, turtles, and other creatures of the sea.
The green sea turtle is on the endangered species list, and the Galapagos National Park closely monitors nesting sites and requires visitors to pay heed to marked areas where mothers have laid their eggs.