Abu Dhabi Environment” saves 178 turtles

Within the framework of the Year of Sustainability, which focuses on the sustainable enhancement of natural habitats and biodiversity, as a major safety valve for environmental sustainability and mitigating the effects of climate change, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, in partnership with The National Aquarium, has re-released 81 turtles to their natural habitats at Saadiyat Resort and Villas. Rotana in Abu Dhabi, in conjunction with World Sea Turtle Day, which falls on June 16.

The authority revealed that since the launch of the “Wildlife Rescue” program in cooperation with The National Aquarium in August 2020, 800 turtles have been rescued and rehabilitated, as 500 turtles were released into their natural habitat. Since August 2022, 178 turtles have been rescued, 81 of which have been selected to be returned to their natural environment, so that they can grow and reproduce, ensuring an increase in their numbers.

The turtle rescue process is carried out by a team of experts and specialists from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and The National Aquarium, where their health is verified first, and further studies are conducted to identify the causes of their injury. Depending on the results of the tests conducted, the turtles undergo a rehabilitation program at the turtle rehabilitation facility of the “National Aquarium” until they recover, and then they are released into open water with the aim of ensuring their safe return to their natural habitats.

The Secretary General of the Authority, Dr. Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, said: “We are always keen to release sea turtles more than once during the year, so that they can return to their natural habitats after completing their rehabilitation. We are working continuously to save endangered turtles to enroll them in the “Saving Wildlife” program in partnership with The National Aquarium. Once we find them, we take special care of them to ensure they are well recovered and rehabilitated before they are released, which will enable them to survive in their natural habitats.”

She added: “We have been able to release rehabilitated turtles and some of them have been fitted with satellite tracking devices attached to their shells, to monitor their behavior and collect data on their lifestyles and migration. Satellite tracking of turtles helps our experts monitor more of their characteristics and learn about their biology. Noting that Abu Dhabi waters are home to more than 5,500 turtles, including green turtles and hawksbill turtles, and as part of our endeavor to increase their numbers in the territorial waters of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, we are keen to always return them to their natural habitats instead of keeping them in ponds.

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