Green Sea Turtle
In compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) must designate critical habitat for each species under its jurisdiction listed under the ESA. Critical habitat is defined as “specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential to conservations, and those features may require special management considerations for protection” and “specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species if the agency determines that the area itself is essential for conservation.”
The critical habitat designated for green sea turtles includes the waters around Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. Culebra Island has extensive seagrass beds and serves as an important developmental area for juvenile and subadult green sea turtles.