Turtles born at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa released back to the wild
Maldives.net.mv – Bon voyage to Maluo, Alfred and Bailey: Kuda Huraa’s first island-born hatchlings in 15 years!
On September 21, 2012, 104 green turtle hatchlings emerged from the sand on Sunrise Beach at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa – the first wild turtles to be born on the island in 15 years.
The majority of the babies were released into the ocean beyond the Resort’s House Reef, with four taken to Kuda Huraa’s turtle pools to increase their chances of survival in the wild.
For the past year, Maluo, Alfred, Bailey and Ariel have been hand-reared by the Resort’s marine biologists. In addition to being monitored, cleaned, weighed and measured on a weekly basis, they have been fed a fresh daily diet of green and brown algae, jellyfish, fish, lobster, crab and squid to supply all the nutrients they would receive in the wild.
Ariel, the largest of the four turtles, was returned to the wild on July 14, 2013. On September 25, his three brothers – Maluo, Alfred and Bailey – joined him, equipped with satellite tags to enable Kuda Huraa’s marine team to track their movements.
Since 2011, Kuda Huraa’s marine biologists have been liaising with the Maldivian Ministry of Fisheries and working with island communities across the country to increase awareness of turtle conservation and encourage individuals and communities to protect nests. To date, the team has hand-reared and released a total of 28 hatchlings from protected nests, dramatically improving their chances of survival in the wild.
With Maluo, Alfred and Bailey being Kuda Huraa born and bred, their release back to the wild marks an exciting landmark for the Resort. By monitoring the turtles’ movement via satellite, Kuda Huraa’s marine team hopes to gain a better understanding of the habitat use, migration routes and foraging grounds of green turtles in the central Indian Ocean – as well as keep a close eye on their ‘babies’ as they embark on their new life in the open ocean.
The turtles’ movements can be followed at the Resort’s Marine Savers website, which also features details of other pioneering marine conservation projects at Four Seasons Resorts Maldives including coral reefscaping, fish breeding and manta ray research in conjunction with The Manta Trust.