Meet the Sea Turtles local to Kuredu03 Dec 2017
Anyone who’s been snorkelling or diving at Kuredu will be familiar with the abundance of sea turtles in the area.
The Marine Biology Center on Kuredu’s sister island, Hurawalhi, has been identifying and logging sea turtles in conjunction with the Olive Ridley Project and in the last year, 74 sea turtles have been registered around Kuredu. The reefs included are Kuredu House Reef/Lagoon, Kuredu Express, Kuredu Caves and Kuredu Coral Garden – guests can join tours or boats to snorkel or dive at these sites as well as exploring the lagoon and house reef with a buddy.
58 of the turtles identified were Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). The reef around Kuredu houses almost one third of all registered Green sea turtles in the Maldives. Incredible! The island is an important feeding and nesting ground for this species.
Meet some of the stars of the show:
Audrey (GR459) is a regular in Kuredu Lagoon and often observed enjoying her sea grass meals. This Green turtle is easily identified by its missing left rear flipper. Despite being handicaped, Audrey is in good shape (and has a big appetite)!
Pia (456) is a juvenile Green sea turtle with a shell length of about 40cm. With 20 registered sightings, Pia is the most sighted individual at Kuredu Caves!
Bjoern (GR38) was one of the first identified sea turtles in the Maldives. He is the only male at Kuredu Caves, his impressive size – a shell length of 70 cm, and his long tail gives him away as a male.
Every sea turtle has a unique scale pattern on the left and right side of its head; this pattern allows for individual identification and population assessments. As part of the ‘Hurawalhi Sea Turtle ID Project’, every sea turtle sighting is registered. Guests can get involved in the project by taking photos of turtles they spot – an image of the right and left sides of the turtle is required and if it turns out to be a first sighting for that indivdual turtle, the guest can name it! For a contribution to the Olive Ridley Project of $50, guests will receive a naming certificate and receive updates whenever that turtle is resighted.
Turtle spotting around Kuredu is easy – snorkel the lagoon or join a snorkel or dive boat to Caves with our experienced guides. Remember the camera for those all-important pictures too – available to rent if needed.
Resident Sea Turtle Biologist and Educator, Stephanie, based at Kuredu’s brand new Marine Center is working in conjunction with the Olive Ridley Project and will be only too happy to help guests understand more about these fascinating creatures that are a big part of the Kuredu community.