Turtle Hatchery

Sri Lanka’s favourable geography, along with its tropical climate, make it the ideal location for a thriving biodiversity hotspot to many species of flora and fauna. The prominent marine life in Sri Lanka, graced by 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles, is one such aspect of the thriving biodiversity that has been praised.

However, as a result of fishing malpractices, poaching of eggs of sea turtles and pollution of the southern coastal belt of the country, these species have become endangered. The ratification of the Convention in Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) in 1979 made the government take strong initiative to conserve the endangered species by establishing small scale conservation farms engaging in turtle hatchery projects run by government officials.

Today, these conservation farms still run their turtle hatchery projects and it has become an epicenter for eco - tourism in Sri Lanka, where one can volunteer anytime of the year to preserve the species and give back to Mother Earth.

Places in the South Eastern and South Western coasts such as Hikkaduwa, Galle, Kosgoda, Koggala and Rekawa have all been praised to be the best turtle hatcheries in the country where volunteers engage in unique and sustainable methods for the conservation of the species.

Interesting Facts

  • Species like the Green turtle, Hawksbill turtle, Loggerhead turtle, the Olive Ridley turtle and the Colossus Leatherback turtle have been identified to be the 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles that take refuge in the Southern beaches of Sri Lanka.
  • Most interestingly, the sea turtle hatchery of Hikkaduwa and many others in Kosgoda, Galle, Koggala and Rekawa are run by former poachers themselves that have realized the long term benefit of protecting the species.
  • Many of these hatcheries operate their projects using different methods of conservation that makes each hatchery unique to one another.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • Turtle hatchery programs are in operation throughout the year, but are however best experienced during the months between April and July when the weather is favourable for breeding.
  • Volunteering in one of the conservation programs is the best way to understand and experience the full extent of the conservation methods, however, it is possible to visit them during the day to get a glimpse of their operations and the turtles they protect.
  • Each turtle hatchery has different operating hours and varying costs for visitors. Just make sure you contact the project before your visit.
  • It is important to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the turtle hatcheries.

In short, turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka have become increasingly popular with foreigners and locals alike due to their successful conservation of the species from possible extinction, thus becoming a major tourist attraction in the country.

Title image by: KNOWSL

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Nature and Outdoors

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