Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi has called on residents to report any marine turtle nesting in the emirate, with the reptiles now taking to beaches ahead of laying eggs.
In a social media post, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) said it had noted the first nesting last month, and shared a picture of the sand prints on the beach.
“It’s that time of year! Marine turtle nesting on Abu Dhabi shores has begun, with our first nesting reported on March 23,” the EAD said.
“EAD experts are monitoring nesting areas to ensure the safety of nesting turtles, in addition to gathering key data on their population and behaviour. This supports our conservation efforts, and helps improve strategies to protect these important species,” the authority added.
Abu Dhabi turtles
Abu Dhabi waters are home to two turtle species: the green turtle and the Hawksbill turtle. It is the critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle that lays its eggs on the emirate’s shores, with more than 100 eggs in each nest, and between two to eight nests each season. The creatures are relatively small and weigh up to 50 kilograms each.
Report nesting activity
In order to protect and preserve the animals, the EAD manages marine protected areas like the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, which serves as an important Hawksbill foraging habitat. It issues reminders reminding residents about animal care.
“If you spot nesting activities, kindly inform the Abu Dhabi Government Call Centre on 800555,” the EAD urged in its latest post.
The nesting season usually extends from March to November each year.
The EAD also works with local organisations to rehabilitate cold-stunned turtles, and last year rescued 250 turtles in collaboration with The National Aquarium.