Thameehla Island conservation site records historic number of sea turtle nests

Sea turtles at the Thameehla Island.

Researchers have recorded 137 sea turtle nests, the highest in the last five years, at the Thameehla Island Sea Turtle Conservation Site in Hainggyikyun, Ayeyawady Region. Alongside preserving nesting spots, the site operates an egg incubation programme for conservation purposes at the Kyakan shore.
Thameehla Island, among the Fisheries Department’s turtle conservation zones, hosts the largest marine turtle nesting sites.
U Phone Maw, the officer in charge of the site, stated: “In previous years, we found no more than 60 to 70 nests, mostly belonging to Pyintha turtles (green sea turtles)”. The department has conducted educational events on turtle conservation for the public. The officer acknowledged that these efforts have yielded positive results due to the cooperation of locals.
The department not only educates residents about the life and habits of marine turtles and the environmental effects on their survival but also offers rewards to anyone who reports the discovery of turtle nests.
The endangered sea turtle species, Olive Ridley, typically lays 60 to 120 eggs per batch, with approximately 85 per cent successfully hatching. The department has released the second batch of Olive Ridley hatchlings into the sea.
While sea turtles have traditionally come to the Kyakan shore to lay eggs, there was no incubation process in place. This year marks the beginning of efforts, supported by locals, to implement such a process, indicating a positive trend. — ASH/NT

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