Dadu, Children’s Museum of Qatar, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) with the support of the Qatar Natural History Group, invites Qatar Museums’ Culture Pass Family members on field trips to observe the hatching of the hawksbill turtle as part of the Qatar Turtle Project at Fuwairit Beach. This year’s edition of Turtle Encounters is focused on giving children the opportunity to enjoy the annual hatching phase of the hawksbill turtle - classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1982 - along Qatar’s coastline. The hatching phase takes place each year from the beginning of June until the end of July.
Essa Al Mannai, Director of Dadu, said: “Environmental conservation and sustainability are key strategic learning goals at Dadu. The values and attitudes children develop today are crucial to sustainable societies in the future. Through initiatives such as these, children are able to witness the beauty of nature first-hand, deepening their respect for and connection with the natural world. A special thank you to the MOECC for making Turtle Encounters possible to our young audience and for their ongoing commitment to protecting and promoting Qatar’s natural habitat.”
Culture Pass Family members can sign up for the Turtle Encounters taking place from 8 pm to 9 pm on 16, 21, 23, 28, 30 June and 5, 7, and 12 July. For the safety of participants and marine life, spaces are limited for each visit. Culture Pass Family members will receive the registration link for Turtle Encounters through the member's newsletter.
As part of Turtle Encounters, participating Culture Pass Family will visit the turtle nesting site on Fuwairit beach before participating in a beach cleanup. During the experience, visitors will watch a team of environmental conservationists collect, count and measure baby turtle hatchlings before releasing them into the sea.
Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Al-Khanji, Director of the Department of Wildlife Development at the MOECC stated that work on the project to protect sea turtles in Qatar began in 2003, passing through several stages, the last of which was closing Fuwairit Beach where more than 35,000 turtle hatchlings have been released into the sea over the past five years.
To spread awareness and highlight Qatar’s efforts to protect endangered species, the ministry is allowing members of the community to visit the turtle hatching site to learn more about its conservation efforts.
Members of the community visiting the turtle hatching site, including children, have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of protecting endangered species and to participate in the release of turtle hatchlings.
Dr. Thierry Lesales, chair of QNHG said: “Qatar Natural History Group has been active in the country since 1978. We are glad to contribute to this project, raising awareness within the community on this conservation effort. It is our duty and joy to show children in Qatar how truly amazing the local marine life, including desert plants and animals, is. As part of this initiative, we are also able to raise awareness on the importance of fighting plastic pollution and protecting ecosystems of the peninsula while demonstrating how the authorities are striving to save the hawksbill turtle.”
As a show of appreciation for their tireless dedication to educating Qatar’s future generations, Dadu invited teachers from across Qatar to witness the nesting phase of the hawksbill turtle in May. Additionally, Dadu is delivering turtle hatching workshops in schools across Doha. To date, more than 100 children across different schools have already participated in these workshops.
During the nesting phase, from the beginning of April to the end of May, environmental conservationists take measurements of the turtle eggs, tag, and track the eggs before transferring them to a protected site.
The Qatar Turtle Project, initiated in 2003, is sponsored by Qatar Petroleum and implemented by the Environmental Science Center at Qatar University under the supervision of MOECC.
To learn more about Qatar Museums’ Culture Pass membership, or to sign up to become a Culture Pass Family member, please visit the Qatar Museum website! Note that this event is only open to Culture Pass Family category members. Registration for Turtle Encounters will open on 9 June.
Source and cover image credit: Press Release
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