There are seven sea turtle species in the world, and five of them can be spotted in the Maldives. These are the Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green, and Olive-Ridley Turtle. When you snorkel or dive in the Maldives, it's easy to spot at least two of the five sea turtle species living in the water around the archipelago. Look for lagoons that are rich with seagrass as this is a favourite food of the Green turtles.
Sea turtles lay their eggs all year round; however, the most active nesting season falls from May to June. The greatest number of hatching takes place from July to August.
Kuredu Island is one of the best places to observe the baby turtles' first steps. Nowadays, it's rather difficult for them to find their way to the sea. With the constant light pollution, the turtles often head inwards on the island rather than to the ocean which is lit by the reflection of the moon that is meant to guide them. Tourists and locals often assist baby turtles in their struggle for survival by helping them go in the right direction. Turtles normally hatch during the full moon, but some of the hatchlings do come out on darker nights.
It's better if hatchlings make their way into the ocean on their own. This helps them to program their built-in GPS systems that will ensure any female turtles that survive will make their way back to the beach one day to lay eggs, completing this incredible tale of survival.
When is the best time to witness sea turtle hatching in the Maldives?
Sea turtle eggs hatch at various times throughout the year but mainly from July to August. During this season, the number of hatchlings reaching the ocean is greatest. To witness sea turtle hatching, visiting the Maldives between May and June is ideal although the best time is from July to August. This is when the baby turtles emerge from the sand and make their way into the ocean. Show more
Where is the best place to observe baby turtles hatching on Kuredu Island?
If you want to see baby turtles hatching on Kuredu Island, you should go to Beach 5. All the beaches on Kuredu Island are nesting places for sea turtles, but more sea turtles are born on Beach 5. Therefore, it is the best location to see them emerge from the sand and make their way to the ocean. Show more
What are the 5 types of sea turtle species that can be found in the Maldives?
Five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world can be seen in the Maldives: Green turtle, Leatherback turtle, Loggerhead turtle, Hawksbill turtle, and Olive-Ridley turtle. Snorkelling or diving around the archipelago is a chance to spot these turtles. However, they prefer lagoons filled with seagrass, which is the main food of the Green turtle. Show more
How do tourists and locals assist hatchlings in their struggle for survival?
Light pollution causes hatchlings to move towards the shore rather than the ocean, where they risk being killed by vehicle traffic or piranha-like crabs. To prevent this, both tourists and local people step in to aid by helping to create a clear path that shows the hatchlings the correct direction. Some hotels also conduct turtle patrols that shield the nests and hatchlings from danger. Show more
Can helping baby turtles find their way to the ocean have any negative effects on their long-term survival?
Although it's heartwarming to help baby turtles reach the ocean, experts think it is preferable to allow them to do so on their own. Doing so assists them in programming their in-built GPS system so that they can come back to the exact same location where they were born to lay their eggs. This adds no negative effect on their long-term survival rates due to human intervention. Show more