Leatherback turtle nesting sites in Rakhine protected with fencing, warning posts

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Fencing the nesting area of sea turtles.

An official from the Kyeintali Inshore Fisheries Co-Management Association (KIFCA) said that a nearly extinct leatherback turtle had come ashore twice to lay eggs in Kyeintali, Thandwe district, Rakhine state and that these two nesting sites were being protected by fencing and warning signs.
It came ashore to nest near Zone 3 of the Kyeintali coastal co-management area on 30 December, and he said another leatherback turtle also laid eggs in Zone 2 on 9 January 2024.
One such turtle had laid eggs three years ago, but no hatchlings hatched because seawater touched the nesting site. Learning from this, he said the current two sites are under close observation for seawater intrusion, and it is under arrangement to construct a small fence similar to an embankment.
“Although they are sea turtles, if their nesting sites are covered with or touched by seawater, their eggs will not hatch. As they are a rare species, we care for them to avoid what happened three years ago. Since this is normally a high tide area, we must consider whether seawater can reach these sites. If it can, we have instructed the monitoring groups to build an embankment-like structure to prevent the water from entering,” he explained. In addition to the fencing, warning signs have been posted at each site stating, “Do not dig turtle nesting site. Do not touch it”.
“We went to nesting sites to put up. Do not dig. Do not touch. We want to remind people that it is an offence under the Fisheries Law,” he added. — MT/ZN

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