Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives witnesses first turtle nesting event

Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives has witnessed the very first sea turtle nesting event at the resort.

In the wee hours of Thursday, Grand Park Kodhipparu was visited by a very special guest; a female Hawksbill turtle looking for a suitable nesting site to lay her eggs.

After the turtle had left the resort’s beach, the nest was promptly secured with a protective fence and a sign was placed close by to remind all to not disturb the nesting ground.

Hawksbill turtles are located worldwide and are easily distinguished from other sea turtles by their sharp curving beak and serrated edge to the rear of their shell.

Like all sea turtles, they spend the first 20 or so years of their life in the open ocean feeding predominantly on jellyfish. Therefore, when they come to live in coral reef habitat, they change their diet and start feeding on sponges, algae, coral, and small crustaceans instead.

Hawksbill turtles play a key role in the coral reef ecosystem. There are few animals that eat the fast-growing sponges due to the toxins in their tissue; therefore they allow coral and other species to colonise and grow in the gaps they create. This maintains diversity throughout the reef ecosystem.

Hawksbill turtles are listed as Critically Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This is partly due to their shell being used for thousands of years for decoration purposes, but in the 1900s their population was estimated to drop by 80 per cent.

As air breathing reptiles, turtles are at great risk of drowning in fishing gear. In addition to this, with jellyfish as their main food source in the open ocean, plastic pollution is a major problem.

In the present day, they are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) but much is still needed to conserve populations.

Hawksbill turtles reach sexual maturity at around 30 years of age and lays an average of 160 eggs in each nest that take about 60 days to hatch.

Interestingly, every two to three years, female Hawksbill turtles return to the same location on the very same beaches where they themselves hatched, to lay their own eggs.

A female doesn’t reproduce every year, but will make two to five nests every two to four years, making it extra special for Grand Park Kodhipparu to be a sanctuary for a new generation of Hawksbill turtles in the North Male Atoll.

“We look forward to welcoming our first sea turtle hatchlings by the end of June at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives. This event rewards the extraordinary efforts of our green team members who are daily processing environmental activities, keeping our reefs and shores safe and clean, as well promoting sustainable educational modules to both guests and staff,” Raffaele Solferino, General Manager of Grand Park Kodhipparu, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

Located in North Male Atoll and a 25-minute speedboat ride away from the main Velana International Airport, Grand Park Kodhipparu features a collection of 120 villas, including idyllic beachfront pool villas, breathtaking overwater villas and palatial two-bedroom villas. Sixty-five of the 120 villas come with their own private pools and the five two-bedroom suites feature extensive private terraces.

Designed by world-renowned hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates, the resort showcases sophisticated architecture, state-of-the-art interior, high ceiling of palm fringed roof, and contemporary exterior with Maldives’ traditional influence of wood and rattan, inventive rustic appeal and inviting peaceful atmosphere. Neutral tones, natural fundamentals and spacious social settings balance the unrivalled beauty of the cobalt sea and tranquility.

Grand Park Kodhipparu offers three restaurants and a pool bar, including the overwater Edge restaurant, which offers a wide selection of international culinary creations, Breeze poolside restaurant and bar, which serves lunch and light bites throughout the day followed by inventive cocktails and fine wines in the night, and the FireDOOR speciality restaurant, which offers grilled meats and fish coupled with the finest wines.

Recreational facilities at the resort include an outdoor swimming pool, gymnasium, sunrise yoga deck, wellness centre with spa and salon treatments, water sports and dive centre, children’s activity centre, and specialty shops.

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