Last week, airport workers were shocked to discover a big sea turtle in the center of a recently completed runway.
A few white items followed behind her — eggs, simply resting on the tarmac.
On tuesday a green sea #turtle came from the sea and laid eggs on the middle of the aircraft runway of Maafaru airport in Noonu Atoll. Little she knew that it is no more her home now. Turtles have habbit of returning back to the same location. No more same for them !! pic.twitter.com/xRhgoSkMV6
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) April 11, 2019
This isn’t the first time she’s tried to lay her eggs in this location, and it won’t be the last. The Maafaru Airport airstrip is located on what used to be an active turtle nesting beach in the Maldives.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy’s executive director, David Godfrey, told The Dodo that “most of the species [of sea turtles] are lured to the same location where they were born and where they have nested in the past.” “That turtle most likely hatched and was born on that length of sand… They don’t merely lay their eggs on the ground. The fact that the turtle is laying her eggs indicates that this isn’t the first time she’s visited this beach.”
The solitary image of the endangered turtle on the tarmac with her eggs, which was shared on Twitter, has gone viral. But what it reveals is something that all too frequently goes unnoticed — something that occurs on a regular basis.
Shorelines are being developed to the point that they are inhospitable for animals that rely on them all over the world. Sea turtle breeding habitats are being pushed into fewer locations due to increasing sea levels and thinning shorelines as a result of global warming.
This is why it is so important for people to stand up for sea turtles. Godfrey explained, “Sea turtles need voices.” “Voters’ voices, citizens’ voices – they rely on us.”
The turtle discovered on the airfield appeared to be in good health and was returned to the sea.