Nest of rare turtles found in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s Environmental Affairs Agency (EAD) has announced that a nest of green sea turtles, classified as an endangered species, has been discovered in the Al Dhafra region for the first time. Although green turtles are widespread in Abu Dhabi waters, they have never nested in the emirate before.

Ahmed Al Hashmi, executive director of EAD’s terrestrial and marine biodiversity sector, said the nest was discovered during one of the turtle surveys at night.

“This is an unexpected find as the island where the nest was spotted is characterised by many small pocket beaches separated by rocks – unlike the long and wide beaches of Oman where green sea turtles nest in abundance, but EAD will continue to closely monitor the beaches for any such occurrences.”

“We normally carry out annual monitoring of all known and potential nesting sites, and although green turtles are actively feeding in Abu Dhabi waters, no evidence has been found that they would nest anywhere else in the emirate.”

The increased nesting and hatching activity recorded during the study is further evidence of Abu Dhabi’s healthy marine ecosystems and proves the effectiveness of EAD’s policy to protect and restore the marine environment.

There are seven species of sea turtles worldwide. Four species can be found in Abu Dhabi waters with a total population of over 6,000 individuals, two of which, the Bissa turtle and the green turtle, are predominantly resident here, while the other two species, the Loggerhead turtle and the Olive Ridley turtle, arrive only occasionally.

In Abu Dhabi, the most Bissa turtles and green turtles have been spotted in the waters of the Al Dhafra region between Abu Al Abyadh and Bu Tinah islands, as well as in the waters bordering Al Yasat and Muhayimat islands.

Source: Khaleej Times

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