Celebrating Our Partnership With the Olive Ridley Project – Part 222 Jul 2021
Following on from Part 1 in this series of articles about the work of the Olive Ridley Project in Lhaviyani Atoll, this time we look at turtle population studies.
The population of wild turtles in Lhaviyani atoll is studied through surveys and photo identification. Sea turtles have unique patterns of facial scales, so unique they can be used to identify that individual throughout its life! Using photos is a non-invasive method of tracking turtles, and everyone can help by sharing turtle photos they have taken during their stay. If you have visited Kuredu you may have met some of our resident turtles yourselves, by now we know them by name! To raise money for the project you can adopt and name a wild sea turtle, and you will get email updates if your turtle is spotted again! Kuredu is a fantastic base from which to study sea turtles, as the island’s reefs and lagoons support large numbers of green and hawksbill sea turtles. Surveys around Kuredu have shown more green sea turtles in the waters than around any other island, roughly 20% of all the identified individual green turtles in the whole country! Green sea turtles are classified by the IUCN as Endangered, meaning their populations are threatened with extinction. Knowing this we are truly blessed to have such a thriving population grazing on our healthy seagrass beds! We are also fortunate to see hawksbill turtles, classified as Critically Endangered, foraging for algae, sponge, jellyfish and crustaceans on reefs throughout the atoll. Since our surveys began we have recorded over 300 individual green turtles and almost 250 individual hawksbills in Lhaviyani atoll!
Check back to find out about the Olive Ridley Project’s work around nest monitoring and protection – we will be covering it in part 3, next month.
Prodivers is proud to sponsor the work of our partner, the Olive Ridley Project, in Lhaviyani atoll from the base Kuredu Resort Maldives. The Olive Ridley Project is a registered British charity dedicated to protecting sea turtles and their habitats in the Indian Ocean, through the rescue and rehabilitation of turtles, education and outreach, as well as scientific research. If you have stayed with us on Kuredu you may have met Emily, our Sea Turtle Biologist, on a Turtle Search or while diving and snorkelling, or perhaps in the office at the Marine Center – you can contact her contact her here.
Special thanks to the Olive Ridley Project for sharing their turtle images with us.