The nesting season for endangered turtles, implemented Qatar University and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and financed by Qatar Petroleum, is expected to achieve a higher growth rate by the start of May.
The nesting process had slowed down due to changing weather conditions of late, the MME said in a statement, adding that six nests have been registered so far with 509 eggs.
The MME had  earlier announced the closure of Fuwairit beach to the public from April 1 until August 1 to facilitate the nesting of endangered Hawksbill turtles for the 2019 season.
Ali Saleh al-Marri, head of the wildlife section at the MME’s Environmental Protection, Reserves & Wildlife Department, said the areas where such turtles nest include the beaches of Ras Laffan, Lehwaylah, Al Marounah, Fuwairit, Al Ghariyah and Al Mafeer, besides Haloul, Sharaawah, Umm Tees and Rukn islands.
Studies show that Fuwairait is the most common nesting area in Qatar for Hawksbill turtles. This may be due to the nature of the place, as digging is easy and the area is also quiet - away from buildings and camping sites. Accordingly, the Fuwairait beach is closed from the start of April each year to be prepared for the turtle nesting season, the MME has explained.
Though it is technically difficult to measure tangible results of the project as turtles take some 25 years to achieve maturity and the newly hatched turtles have a low survival rate of around 10 in every 1,000, it has been observed that the rate at which turtles are going back to the sea alive is getting higher with every nesting season, the statement points out.
A total of 5,010 baby turtles were released by the end of the nesting season last year.
This would eventually increase the chances of survival for this endangered species, the statement stressed, adding that the ministry exerts great efforts to provide the suitable environment and conditions for the nesting season in order to multiply the number of such turtles and maintain the desired ecological balance.

Related Story