Earlier this week an endangered Green sea turtle returned to an island in the Maldives in order to nest its eggs, only to find that its nesting spot had been built over with a runway.
(Photo Credit: Twitter)
Apparently this specific breed of green turtle return to the exact same spot that they were born when it becomes time for them to lay eggs themselves, which is freakin’ beautiful when you think about it.
Thanks to poachers this species of turtle has dangerously low population numbers, mainly due to poachers hunting them and killing them for their meat and eggs.
A source from Maafaru Island Council told Edition:
“Despite the construction of the runway, the frequency with which turtles visit the island for nesting purposes has not decreased.”
However, it would appear from the photograph that this is not the case. The airport was completed back in August and apparently, it wasn’t just the turtles who were put out by its construction, with some locals also being outraged:
(Photo Credit: Twitter @hikidheli)
Fortunately, local sources are reported as saying that the turtle was ‘released into the sea’ and was reportedly in ‘good health.’ However, this still serves as a severe warning about our impact on this planet.
Scientist Basudeb Tripathy from the Zoological Survey of India, explained one of the main reasons why the turtles come back to the same place to nest as ‘a phenomenon termed natal homing. Here, hatchlings that are born on a specific beach get the characteristics of that spot imprinted on their brain. This is what then attracts them every year.’
He went on to explain that the other reasons the turtles return are pheromones: ‘These hormones, which are produced among turtles at the time of their birth, also imprint the beach where they are born onto their brains.’
And the third reason is that sea currents allow the turtles to navigate around: ‘Sea currents are like marine highways on which turtles traverse the vast oceans. Since these are fixed, the turtles are able to use them to come back to the same beach every year.’
These turtles are freakin’ fantastic things and it’s disgraceful that we’re letting our place on this planet impact more and more on the wildlife around us with each passing day.