Dozens of the endangered green sea turtles began their journey to the ocean after hatching in nesting sites on several beaches of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. The natural phenomena was highlighted on Wednesday by the Galapagos National Park (PNG), which is carrying out a project involving the island’s population to monitor and protect the hatching of the eggs, reports Efe news.
“So far the eggs of six nests have hatched on the beaches of Puerto Villamil” on Isabela Island, the largest and westernmost of the archipelago, the PNG said in a statement. The park added that they were the eggs of green sea turtles, a species classified as endangered and included on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Isabela Island’s youth have been involved during the last few weeks in the nesting process of the green turtles, who often go to these islands to lay their eggs. They have been monitoring the process on beaches near Isabela Island’s Puerto Villamil village, where they have marked and protected 11 nests.
Young volunteers with the national park monitored and cared for the nesting sites until the emergence of the hatchlings from the nests built by their mothers in the sand of the beaches of the archipelago. After hatching, the tiny turtles must make a dash to the sea to avoid being eaten by natural predators, including birds or other marine animals, although they are also under threat from domestic animals and humans.
For this reason, the Galapagos National Park Directorate has urged the local community to respect the nesting areas of sea turtles on publicly accessible beaches. According to the PNG, sea turtle nesting areas have been identified in the area known as Playa Grande on Isabela Island as well as Turtle Bay on Santa Cruz.
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The Galapagos Islands, which were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1978, are located around 1,000 km west of the continental coast of Ecuador and are named after the giant tortoises that inhabit it. Its land and marine reserve, covering an area of 138,000 square kilometres, contains rich biodiversity considered a natural laboratory that allowed the British scientist Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution by natural selection. (IANS)