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Posted On: 13 July 2020 05:57 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:22 pm

Hawksbill turtles in Qatar: Hatching locations, conservation and more!

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
Content Writer
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Have you ever seen turtles hatch and how the baby turtles make their way into the world? Sea turtles hatch mostly during summer and they return to the beaches to look for a comfortable nesting spot above the high watermark. Qatar is home to three species of sea turtles, the most important one is the hawksbill, which is critically endangered and has great importance to the region’s ecosystem.

In this article, we will shed light on facts about hawksbill turtles that include which beaches in Qatar are the nesting spots for them, what Qatar is doing to conserve this critically endangered species, and whether it is possible to witness the miracle of their life in its purest form!

When is the Hawksbill turtles hatching season?

The mating process for Hawksbill turtles takes place every two years and the nesting process begins in late March or early April, with the females leaving the sea and looking for a suitable nesting ground., according to Qatar Musem. The eggs hatch two months after they are laid and the young turtles instinctively crawl towards the sea.

What are the hawksbill turtle nesting spots in Qatar?

Hawksbill turtles nest at different beaches in Qatar, for example, Fuwairit, Lehwaylah, Ras Laffan, Al Ghariyah, Al Maroona, Al Mafeer, Haloul, Sharaawah, Rukn islands, and Umm Tees. However, it's learned that Fuwairit remains to be the most favorite breeding spot in Qatar. And the reason behind this is probably the nature of the place, and the area is also quiet as it's away from buildings and camping sites.

Besides being quiet, Fuwairit beach’s atmosphere, as well as soft sand, make it a perfect place for nesting where turtles can dig easily. According to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), Fuwairit is closed from April every year to prepare for the nesting season, aimed at protecting the turtles and their eggs.

What's Qatar doing to conserve the turtles?

The conservation of sea turtles is an essential part of the ecological balance, which is achieved by the survival of the components and elements of the natural environment as they are. With funding from Qatar Petroleum (QP), The Environmental Science Center (ESC) at Qatar University (QU) is implementing the Qatar Turtle Project to protect Qatar’s hawksbill turtles. This project is one of the top-priority projects for the two institutions towards preserving Qatar’s wildlife

The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has been carrying out various activities to conserve the sea turtles. The MME annually closes Fuwairit beach to the public for a certain period to facilitate the nesting of the endangered hawksbill turtles.

Can I watch Hawskbill turtles hatching in Qatar?

Yes, you can be part of this magical moment and watch how these little turtles make their journey to the world! Although the Fuwairit beach is closed during nesting season to protect turtles and eggs, however, a portion of the beach is open during the hatching season for the public to witness the process at night. To facilitate the visit, Qatar Museum is organising visits to the nesting ground for the entire month of July & August. However, please note that all tickets are sold out for this current phase but don't miss it next time! For more information, visit HERE.