Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Programme

Turtle Rehabilitation at Kuda Huraa

We continue to care for Elsa, our Olive Ridley with no front flippers. We often see her at the bottom of the pools foraging for food, but when we try to release her back into the ocean she makes no effort to submerge (most likely due to the stress associated with transportation).

Early on the morning of 21 February, we rescued a turtle that was found trapped in a ghost fishing net inside the lagoon. A big thank you to our two guests John and Dacia Sciarrone from Hong Kong, who spotted it whilst out kayaking, and helped the recreation team transfer it to the Marine Discovery Centre.
Alea‘ is a 53cm female Olive Ridley turtle, showing lacerations on both front flippers caused by the netting, and signs of rope abrasion on her shell. She is also suffering from the familiar ‘buoyancy problem’ (unable to submerge), but apart from this appears to be in good health.
Alea has been feeding well and is visibly stronger, but her front flippers seem to be painful following the entanglement in the ghost netting. We will closely monitor her progress and hope to release her soon.
UPDATE: We successfully released Alea back into the ocean on 17 March 2014, and we watched her swimming away into the deep blue until she disappeared from sight.

Turtle Nest Protection & Head Start

We currently have thirteen turtles in our head start programme – twelve green turtles and one hawksbill. We continue to treat our green turtle hatchlings for grey patch disease and all five cases are showing signs of improvement and are otherwise in good health. Our Hawksbill turtle ‘Mikka’ now measures 24.6cm in carapace length; we hope to release her soon with a satellite tag to track her oceanic journey.

Turtle Rehabilitation Residents at Landaa Giraavaru

There is no change with our residents here at Landaa.

Ossy was found on 22 August, entangled in a ghost net close to the island of Madhirivaadhoo. She still suffers from buoyancy problems and is not yet diving down to the bottom of the pool – an essential ability to regain before her release.

Naushad is making progress with her injury to both left flippers, and is making an effort to dive during feeding time. She does not resist being pushed down to the bottom of the pool and we are helping to strengthen her swimming stroke and her ability to dive after food.

Zahiya is our long-term resident, but we do not have the expertise to treat her chronic health problems and house her permanently. We are communicating with an aquarium supplier in the UK about the possibility of an overseas transfer where she could live out the rest of her life comfortably in a specialised aquarium.

Construction of our new turtle rehabilitation pools is going well.

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