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Sunday, September 24, 2023

In the United Arab Emirates, struggling sea turtles get help


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Baby sea turtles flapped their flippers as they were released into the sea, only to be pushed back ashore by rough tides. It tried again, and this time it succeeded, swimming fast into the depths of the Persian Gulf waters, lapping a series of seaside resorts.

Scientists hope the turtle will thrive in its natural habitat, joining some 500 turtles that have been rescued, rehabilitated and released since the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency launched a program three years ago to help the turtle-plagued . climate change and other issues.

In a recent release in early June, members of the agency’s wildlife rescue program joined community members to bring about 80 turtles to the water’s edge. Many are equipped with satellite tracking devices to help scientists better understand migration patterns and the success of rehabilitation methods.

Turtles have historically been hunted for their meat and eggs, and their shells were used to make jewelry.But many human factors can affect All seven sea turtle species decline.

“We’re seeing plastic pollution causing injuries, boats hitting them, fishing nets causing them to become entangled, and coastal development reducing their available nesting habitat,” said Hind al-Ameri, an assistant scientist at the Ministry of Environment. Abu Dhabi Agency.

Climate change is an important factor, the researchers say.

Sea turtles around the world are becoming more vulnerable due to climate change, and the United Arab Emirates is working to protect the creatures. Sea turtles washed ashore in Abu Dhabi have been rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the sea. A program run by the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency says it has rescued 800 sea turtles in the three years since it was established. (June 29) (AP Video: Malak Harb/Baraa Anwer)

ocean warming endangering coral reefs, turtles need to survive, and changing ocean currents exposes turtles to new predators. Rising sea levels have reduced the number of beaches where sea turtles nest and lay their eggs.

Abu Dhabi is not the only institution in the UAE dedicated to aiding sea turtles. Emirates Wildlife Fund – WWF launched two marine conservation initiatives more than a decade ago to study the behavior of hawksbill and green sea turtles in the region.

besides Dubai Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Project Has been helping sick and injured sea turtles for nearly two decades, rehabilitating and returning more than 2,000 sea turtles to the Persian Gulf in the process.

Scientists say they see evidence that sea turtles are adapting to climate change.

The sex of sea turtles is affected by the temperature of egg development, with the higher the temperature, the higher the proportion of female sea turtles. Al-Ameri said the climate in the United Arab Emirates had become so warm that the male population should have been severely damaged, but the male population was healthy and able to reproduce.

“So this drives us to understand why our species are adapting the way they do, what that means for climate change, and whether sea turtles will be able to adapt to climate change in the future,” she said.

How the planet can limit global warming and its devastating effects on sea turtles and the rest of the world will be discussed in detail at a conference hosted by Dubai in November Next UN Climate Change Summit.


The AP’s climate and environment coverage is supported by several private foundations.Learn more about the AP Climate Initiative here. The Associated Press is solely responsible for all content.


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