Turtles in Hawaii

Only a single turtle species is native to the archipelago of Hawaii – the Green Sea Turtle (called Honu or ‘Ulae locally). However, due to changing climate and warming oceans, other sea turtles have also been spotted in Hawaiian waters, including the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the Hawksbill Sea Turtle.

Due to human activity, a few freshwater turtles have also ended up in Hawaii as invasive species, like the Pond Slider and the Chinese Softshell.

Turtles in Hawaii (HI)

Types of Turtles Found in Hawaii

Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)

  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  • Green Sea Turtle
  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
  • Australian Flatback Sea Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelyidae)

  • Leatherback Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys)

  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Emydid Turtles (Emydidae)


  • Pond Slider

Softshell Turtles (Trionychidae)

  • Chinese Softshell Turtle
  • Wattle-necked Softshell Turtle


Are there any endangered turtles in Hawaii?

All of the sea turtles that swim around the island nation of Hawaii are at risk to some extent.

Where to see sea turtles in Hawaii?

There are several spots where one can observe sea turtles in the country, including Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach, Kahaluʻu Beach Park, Maluaka Beach, Lawaʻi Beach, and Laniakea Beach.

Subscribe our newsletter

Enter your email here to stay updated with the animal kingdom