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Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), FMNH no. 31009. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Conservation status: critically endangered. Hawksbill Turtles are distributed throughout the tropics. The primary threats to Hawksbill Turtles are the the illegal trade in tortoiseshell (as its shell, prized throughout history, is called), harvesting of eggs from nests on beaches, incidental capture in fisheries and climate change. Nesting surveys are the best tool for judging the staus of this species and nesting activity has declined by 85% in three generations. Nesting sites are also under threat by rising sea levels. Rising sand temperatures may affect sex ratios because hatchling gender is determined by incubation temperature, where warmer nests result in more females. International trade in the species is banned by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) but extensive illegal trafficking continues. Many conservation efforts are in effect, including protection of nesting sites. However, preventing black market trade is the key to saving this species. In 1988, a stockpile of seized shells was burned by the Seychelles government, similar to the burning of ivory in Kenya.  ..As biologists describe new species and add to our understanding of the interrelated nature of life on Earth, a species becomes extinct every 20 minutes (100 to 1000 times the background extinction rate as seen in the fossil record). Collections in natural history museums play important roles in conservation, education and research. Most of that work and the associated specimens are not on public displ