Although still abundant compared to some other sea turtle species, olive ridleys are threatened. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as Vulnerable on their Red List, meaning that the populations of this small species of sea turtle, who grow to about two feet in shell length and weigh a little more than 100 pounds, are susceptible to anthropogenic threats. Numbers of olive ridleys in particular are in decline. Their eggs are considered a delicacy and are highly sought after, while adult turtles are targeted for their meat and shells and also perish as part of incidental catch by fishermen. They are also threatened by habitat loss.
These turtles live in tropical waters around the world, where they feed mainly on jellyfish, sea urchins, snails and other marine invertebrates. Olive ridleys are best known for their synchronized nesting in mass numbers (referred to as arribadas), during which some 600,000 individuals have been observed nesting in one location over the span of a few months.