Evidence that a vulnerable species of turtle is breeding in the UAE has been found for the first time, Sharjah’s Environment and Protected Areas Authority has announced.
An Olive Ridley turtle hatchling was recently found crawling towards the sea from the beach of the Kalba Kingfisher Retreat, in Sharjah’s East Coast enclave of Khor Kalba.
Further investigation uncovered several tracks on the beach, leading investigators to believe several turtles hatched and made it to the sea in Khor Kalba.
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, executive chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, developers of the Kingfisher Retreat, said, “Thanks to the relentless efforts of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, [it] reflects on Sharjah’s global status in restoring, preserving and protecting its rich natural habitat and infrastructure, further contributing to the global protection of endangered wildlife and promoting responsible environmental change.”
Olive Ridley turtles are the second-smallest of the world’s six marine turtle species, and are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Until this discovery, only Green and Hawksbill turtles were known to breed in the Emirates.