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Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 50(3): 597-602

Research Note

First confirmed report of Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata in nearshore waters of Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

Rocío Álvarez-Varas1, Marcelo Flores2, Diego Demangel3, Michel García4 and Nicole Sallaberry-Pincheira5

1ONG Qarapara Tortugas Marinas Chile, Las Flores Oriente 2725, Peñalolén, Santiago, Chile
2Departamento de Ecología y Biodiversidad, Facultad de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Andres Bello, República 470, Piso 3, Santiago, Chile
3Salvador Sur 1039, Villa Olímpica, Nuñoa, Santiago, Chile
4ORCA Diving Center, Hanga Roa, Easter Island, Chile
5Centro de Sustentabilidad y Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria, Facultad de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Andres Bello, República 440, Santiago, Chile



The hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata; Critically Endangered) has a circumtropical distribution. In Polynesia it inhabits the waters of a great number of islands; however, up to date there are no official records for Easter Island. We document the first report of E. imbricata in Easter Island and Chile based on underwater photographs and examination of one individual. The confirmation of the presence of hawksbills extends the known distribution range for the species, increases the number of sea turtle species recorded for Chile, and highlights the need for further research on potential threats to the species and the importance of Rapa Nui as developmental and foraging habitat for hawksbills.

Key words:  Hawksbill Turtle, Easter Island, Chile, Polynesia


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