Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi residents have been urged to report any sea turtles that they find stranded along the shorelines and beaches.
Every year, about 300 turtles are found stranded on the emirate’s shores because they have become cold-stunned during the cooler months. As a result, their shells become infested with barnacles, making them further immobile.
The Environment Agency (EAD) is therefore partnering with The National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi to save these cold-blood reptiles. “You can save these wildlife treasures by calling the EAD to report any turtle sightings,” the EAD has urged.
Abu Dhabi turtles
Both green turtles and hawksbill turtles are commonly found in the Arabian Gulf, but only the hawksbill turtles nest in Abu Dhabi, There are 17 known nesting sites in the emirate, including Saadiyat Beach.
Cold-stunning is a hypothermic reaction experienced by marine reptiles, especially sea turtles, when they are exposed to cold waters for prolonged periods. The cooler temperatures cause them slow down their body processes, and makes them weak and inactive. They can therefore become stranded, and find their shells infested with barnacles, which further inhibits their moving.
After cold-stunning has occurred, there is usually only a short period of time when marine turtles can be safely rescued, and requires marine expertise.
Report stranded turtles
Call the EAD on 800555 to report any stranded turtles.