Velavaru – Turtle Island

Maldivian water hosts five out of seven species of turtles in the world, green turtle and hawksbill turtle being the most common species.

Angsana Velavaru is one of the popular nesting islands in South Nilandhe Atoll (Dhaalu Atoll). “Velavaru” or Turtle Island takes its name from the Divehi words Vela which means Turtle & Varu which means Island.  True to its name, six turtle egg nests have been located in the island from 16 May to 9 July 2016.

The mother turtle usually comes to the island during the night to lay eggs and bury them in the sand before immediately heading back to the sea, leaving the eggs vulnerable to their main predator – crabs.  It takes 50 – 60 days for these eggs to hatch hence, to keep them safe, our Marine Lab team puts a net around the nest for protection.

These nets also protect the baby turtles once they come out of their shells. These hatchlings will instinctively head to the water, and when left unguarded, will become meal for the crows.

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green turtle hatchlings
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these hatchlings are protected by nets

Keeping just a few, our Marine Lab then releases the hatchlings out into the wild once they are 2 days old.

Once again, after being released, these little hatchlings will be exposed to a lot more predators such as barracuda, sharks and other bigger marine species, leaving them a very slim survival chance (1%) to even reach sexual maturity.

embarking on their first journey

We have witnessed the hatching of the fourth turtle nest this year on the 5th of August, and there are 2 more nests to go.

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2 day old turtle hatchlings released into the wild

Our guests at Angsana Velavaru participates in our Turtle Release Events, a one of a kind experience which makes them part of these tiny hatchlings’ lives.

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good luck baby turtles!
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