TEHRAN, May 27 (MNA) – A group of Hawksbill baby sea turtles, hatched out on Tuesday morning in the southern Iranian Qeshm Island, crawl clumsily into the Persian Gulf to swim out to the free waters. The Persian Gulf islands of Shidvar, Nakhiloo, Kish, and Qeshm are four conservation sites for hawksbill sea turtles in Iran.

The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a marine reptile that enters the Persian Gulf waters each year from the Indian Ocean between February and June to lay eggs in Shib Deraz, which hatch in early May.

This rare animal is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its beak-like mouth (from which its common name is derived) which helps pull sea sponges, its principal food, out of the curves of corals.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the hawksbill as critically endangered. It has also been listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species which outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill sea turtles and products derived from them as well as Appendices I and II of The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.

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