Celebrating Our Partnership With the Olive Ridley Project – Part 318 Aug 2021
Following on from Part 1 and Part 2 in this series of articles about the work of the Olive Ridley Project in Lhaviyani Atoll, this time we look at turtle nesting and protection of nesting sites.
Working together to protect the green sea turtle nests that are laid on Kuredu and the nearby islands is an important area of the Olive Ridley Project’s role. Sea turtles take a long time to reach sexual maturity, up to 25 years for green turtles, they then undertake a dangerous migration from their home reef to the area in which they themselves were born in order to mate and lay their eggs. Green turtles can lay around 100 eggs per nest, and up to 5 nests a season, however they only nest every 2 to 3 years, not every year! The nests incubate between 50 to 70 days, and once they hatch the baby turtles race to the sea, but due to a myriad of predators and threats, only 1 from 1000 hatchlings may survive until adulthood. This means that every nest, every egg and every hatchling counts to support their declining populations! We watch over the nests throughout their incubation and prepare for the hatchlings to safely make their way to the sea. This year alone (2021) Kuredu has had 8 nests, the most recent of which was laid just last week! Since our partnership began we have documented 46 nests in Lhaviyani, and we have contributed valuable data that helps get a picture of sea turtle nesting activity throughout the country.
Our work with sea turtles has also given us the chance to educate guests and staff on appropriate behaviour when swimming with them and around nesting and hatchling turtles, which is to avoid disturbance from lights and noise, do not approach too close and never touch a turtle, they’re wild animals and deserve our utmost respect!
Special thanks to the Olive Ridley Project for sharing their turtle images with us.