Saadiyat Island Prepares for Endangered Hawksbills Nesting
Endangered sea turtles will soon return home to Saadiyat Island beach for nesting.
The Environmental Services team at Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) in Abu Dhabi, on Saturday, 1st April ,2017, said it has concluded preparations on the Saadiyat Island for the hawksbill sea turtle nesting season.
The critically endangered turtles are due to begin returning soon, and will be under the careful observation of the TDIC’s experienced environmental services team throughout the nesting season, which extends through the month of September.
As a part of the TDIC’s one-of-a-kind Hawksbill Sea Turtle Protection Programme, the company’s environmental services team will monitor and observe the sea turtle nests along Saadiyat Beach.
Additional protective measures have also been taken in the form of cautionary signage and an awareness campaign that aims to prevent visitors from harming the nests until hatching, a period that usually lasts for 50-70 days. Each nest typically contains 90-100 eggs.
Hawksbill sea turtles have been listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, with their numbers decreasing globally at critical rates. Over 80 per cent of the hawksbill sea turtle population has disappeared over the past three generations, having fallen victim to natural habitat destruction and excessive hunting.
Strict guidelines were introduced by the Hawksbill Sea Turtle Protection Programme, including the banning of any development activities within 60metres of the beach, in order to maintain a natural sand hill barrier between the turtle nesting areas and any human activities.
“The turtles’ return is a testament to the success of our environmental protection programme,” said Sufian Hasan Al Marzooqi, TDIC’s Chief Executive Officer.
Buthaina Al Qubaisi, Environment Manager at TDIC, said: “Our main objective during the nesting season is to ensure the sea turtles are not disturbed during the delicate nest digging and egg laying process.”
Protective measures include the dimming of night lights during the hatching period, the removal of beach furniture, the restriction of certain leisure activities after sunset, and the installation of further signage around nesting sites.