Each year during Hawksbill nesting seasons, Qatar’s northeastern shores close down to give the turtles a safe breeding space.
Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment issued a memo late last week, urging residents to stay away from the country’s northeastern shores, which has been a place of breeding the native Hawksbill turtles.
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The Hawksbill turtles usually have their nesting seasons between the months of April and August, when they return to site of their birth or prior nestings to lay their eggs.
Turtles are generally very vulnerable species and any small disturbance could harm their nesting process. That is why for the time ever, Qatari authorities have chosen to close down the popular Fuwairat beach during this time.
The Fuwairat beach is located near Ras Laffan, in Northern Qatar, and will be completely fenced off during the nesting season.
In the coming weeks, tens of thousands of turtles will be making their up to shore to find the perfect spot to burrow a hole to lay their eggs in. These turtles, their eggs and the their young once hatched are very sensitive to any kind of disturbance like litter, noise and light.
Strong lights from cars and fires could lead them to navigate towards wrong directions and get lost since turtles depend on the moonlight and its reflection off the ocean to find their way.
The presence of people would also put both young and adult turtles in danger as they are easily scared off, and many would want to approach them.
Read more about the the Hawksbill turtles and their breeding habits on The Life Pile.