The Turtle is a flagship species for the conservation of the marine environment and is protected throughout most of the world. All seven species of marine turtles found globally are listed as vulnerable to extinction, endangered or critically endangered. The Hawksbill turtle, native to the Middle East, is listed as critically endangered with only an estimated 8,000 nesting females left worldwide. On a global scale the greatest threat to marine turtles are all caused by man.
The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) is based at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah and is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Clinic and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.
The project has been running in its current form since 2004 and has so far seen the release of over 1,600 rescued sea turtles back into Dubai’s waters. In 2011 alone over 350 sick or injured sea turtles have been treated by the DTRP after being washed up on the regions beaches. The DTRP is currently the only project of its kind in the Middle East and Red Sea region.
The Goals of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
The project was started after the need for a turtle rescue and rehabilitation facility was realized by the Wildlife Protection Office – after stranded turtles started to be brought in to them. The main goals of the project are:
Rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild any sea turtles that are found sick or injured throughout the region.
Educate local children, citizens and international hotel guests about sea turtle biology and the local and global plight of the sea turtle.
To understand the success of rehabilitation and to research turtle movements throughout the region and beyond via a satellite tracking initiative.