E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829)
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle; Olive Ridley Seaturtle
Family: Cheloniidae

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E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Lepidochelys olivacea in British Columbia
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Olive Ridley Sea Turtle is found around the world in tropical and sub-tropical waters near shore (22-55 m) (Wikipedia 2011). In British Columbia, it is presently considered an accidental species, with only one confirmed record in BC waters--it was first reported in the province in 2011 (from Wickaninnish Beach, Vancouver Island in November 2011).

McAlpine et al. (2007), in their summary of seaturtles in Canadian waters, suggested that Olive Ridley Seaturtle would eventually be reported for BC. "In the Pacific, it is widely distributed along the coasts of South and Central America (Reichart 1993). There are also 3 well-documented reports from California (Houck and Joseph 1958; Morejohn 1969; Hubbs 1977). Several even more northern records suggest that L. olivacea could stray into western Canadian waters. Although Pritchard (1979) reports, without documentation, that stray individuals have been found as far north as Oregon, there are few published records from the Pacific Northwest. Richardson (1997) documents a juvenile found dead at Copalis Beach, Washington, in November 1989, while Hodge and Wing (2000) list 2 carcasses discovered in January 1986 and June 1991 in Alaska. Iverson (1992) plots the more northerly of the Alaska records, as do Zug et al. (1998). A southern Alaska record (June 1991, south of Ketchikan, Fig. 4) is very close to the British Columbia border. In the future, L. olivacea will probably be recorded in British Columbia, although it is unlikely that any live individuals found there will long survive."

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeSNAAccidentalNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

McAlpine, Donald F., Michael C. James, John Line and Stan A.Orchard. 2007. Status and Conservation of Marine Turtles in Canadian Waters. In: Ecology, Conservation, and Status of Reptiles in Canada. Carolyn N.L. Seburn and Christine A. Bishop, Editors, Herpetological Conservation 2:85–112.

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2020-10-25 9:34:28 PM]
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