Birth of Hawksbill Turtles on the shores of the Persian GulfJun 14, 2017
Hawksbill Turtles are critically endangered species. This is mostly due to human and natural impacts. They are accidentally captured and threatened by fishing nets. Fox is a natural predator. Despite the turtle’s international protected status, Hawksbill eggs are still eaten around the world.
However, in some corners of the world, there still exists some safe havens for the Hawksbill Turtles, and a number of committed partners – including Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) – with the support of the local community are working together to reverse the destiny of this endangered species.
Shib Deraz village located in the South of Iran in Qeshm Island has become a safe spot through the controlling of natural and human disturbances on the beach where Hawksbill Turtles come to make nest for their eggs.
Every year from late February to late June, the intact gentle slopes of the southern shores of the Persian Gulf hosts hundreds of Hawksbill Turtles that come to lay their eggs. After about two months a small black nose appears shyly from the sand on the nest, this means that the eggs have been hatched.
This year, the hatching of Hawksbill Turtles coincided with International Day for Biological Diversity and commemoration of Ocean Conference. The “Ocean Celebration” ceremony was organized by UNIC Tehran in cooperation with the Department of Environment of Qeshm Free Zone and Hormod Sustainable Development Institute. The GEF/SGP Community Conserved Turtle Site was chosen for this event.
Government officials, UN representatives, the local community and the media gathered in Shib Deraz to discuss and showcase their efforts aimed at protection of the marine environment.
The UNDP-GEF/SGP Marine and Coastline projects were initiated in Qeshm Island in 2001 with the aim of persevering the coral reefs, enhancing the local knowledge on the importance of protecting the eggs of the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles and through their empowerment and active participation protecting the related territories and habitats of this endangered species.
As a result of these efforts In Shin Deraz village, every year between 4,000 to 5,000 eggs of Hawksbill Turtles have been safely protected, hatched and released to the azure waters of the Persian Gulf.