Turtle lays eggs on runway, previously a beach

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 15 April 2019

A female green sea turtle, a species listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), made her way onto what had been a popular nesting site on Noonu Atoll, a division of the Maldives, to lay her eggs.

However, a 2.2km runway had been built where the beach sand once was as part of a $60-million Maafaru International Airport development funded by the UAE, according to the Independent. It’s quite likely that the female turtle was born in the location, as sea turtles often make long journeys when they have matured to nest on beaches where they were born.

Unable to dig a hole at the nesting site, the turtle ended up laying her eggs on the asphalt in the middle of the runway. A heartbreaking image of the unfortunate marine reptile was posted on Twitter by Adam Nasym.


According to a local publication, The Edition, ‘Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals.’ A source from the Maafaru Island Council also stated that ‘Despite the construction of the runway, the frequency with which turtles visit the island for nesting purposes has not decreased’.

Although we cannot confirm that it is the same turtle, a later tweet from Adam Nasym indicated that the turtle had died.

The Edition’s report also added: ‘The question remains on how much of the Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically.’

Image: Twitter

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