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Mon 5 Aug 2013 02:54 PM

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Hawksbill turtle nest hatches on Saadiyat Island

TDIC's delight after 40 babies of critically endangered species hatch on Abu Dhabi beach

Hawksbill turtle nest hatches on Saadiyat Island

Abu Dhabi's tourism developer on Monday announced the successful hatching of the first Hawksbill turtle nest on Saadiyat island this year.

The Environmental Services team at Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) said in a statement that over 40 baby turtles emerged from the nest, which was located between the Saadiyat Public Beach and the Monte-Carlo Beach Club.

Their hatching was observed by members of TDIC's environment team, security guards and members of the public, some of whom also assisted in guiding a few confused hatchlings.

Dr Nathalie Staelens, head of Environmental Services at TDIC, said: "We are very excited that the eggs - which are from this season's first batch - have hatched safely."

The Saadiyat Beach plays host to several Hawksbill turtle nests every year. Once a nest is identified, steps are taken to ensure its safety and the security of its hatchlings under TDIC's Hawksbill Turtle Conservation Programme.

Since the start of the programme in early 2010, some 650 eggs have hatched successfully on Saadiyat.

TDIC said it has taken additional steps to ensure the protection of Saadiyat's coastal dune system and the safety of the hawksbill turtles - listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List.

Among them are restricting resort development on Saadiyat Beach to at least 60 metres back from the seaward edge of the coastal dunes, creating a buffer zone which serves as a physical barrier between construction and operations and the Saadiyat Dune Protection Zone nesting beach.

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