Turtle Program

Green and hawksbill sea turtles are listed as Threatened and Endangered and are protected federally under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and locally under CNMI Public Law 02-51.

The CNMI DLNR Sea Turtle Program's goal is to help protect, recover, and promote valuable sea turtle resources of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota through science-based conservation and management practices.

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In-water capture

Programmatic activities include:

(Click linked activities to see related photos.)

Note: The tagging activities shown in the photos were conducted under NMFS Permit #15661-01/02. Nesting, egg and hatch monitoring activities were performed under USFWS Permit #TE-017352-15.

These program activities directly support priority actions in recovery plans for US Pacific populations of green and hawksbill turtles:

  1. Stop the direct harvest of turtles through education and enforcement
  2. Characterize population demographics, status and trends through long-term in-water censuses
  3. Identify stock home ranges using DNA analysis
  4. Identify and protect primary foraging and nesting areas
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Green Turtle

You too can help us save turtles

It's OK to help! If you observe a stranded live, sick, wounded, or dead turtle please call our sea turtle stranding hotline immediately at 287-8537 (CTR-TLES) or 287-7560. If you have tips or information concerning a poached turtle call: NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (671) 472-7200; CNMI Endangered Species Special Agent 989-6096; or CNMI DFW Enforcement Section Officers: 989-6092/6095.

Teachers and Educators

If you are a school teacher and interested in our team providing a sea turtle presentation to your class or school, please email our information specialist at joe.ruak@gmail.com or phone: 287-8537.

A classroom-suitable presentation entitled Mariana Island Sea Turtles is available under "Program Documents" below.

Additional turtle outreach materials are available on the Posters and Brochures page.

Our Island Environment teaching workbooks are available on the Teaching Materials page.


If you would like to volunteer your time to help conserve sea turtles please contact our program partner Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance (MINA). Volunteer email: minaoutreach@gmail.com or phone: 670-233-7333 (REEF)

Partner Organizations

Program Documents


Satellite tag deployment on hawksbill

In-water capture turtle survey 1

In-water capture turtle survey 2

Diurnal hatchling video

Sea Turtle Outreach Eco-camp

Nesting turtle crawling on beach

Media Publications

SWOT Feature Article
Jessy, the Flying Yapese - Traditional Knowledge Supports Research in the Western Pacific Ocean

IOSEA - Profile of the Month
Saipan sea turtles: An internationally-shared resource