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.
A huge green turtle came to nest on #angsanavelavaru! As part of our conservation program the nest is marked and protected and in about 60 days we will have baby turtles 🙂 She may be back to lay more eggs, as in the past we've had large turtles such as this lay up to 10 nests in a season. We will keep you posted! Photo by Wei Yi. @angsanahotels #turtle #sea #conservation #ocean #wildlife #seaturtle #maldives
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.
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.
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.
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.