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St Martin unsafe for sea turtles

Experts demand that movement of people, barking of dogs should be stopped


| Updated: January 25, 2023 12:11:55


Photo shows the carcass of a turtle lying on the sandy shore of Saint Martin's Island — FE Photo Photo shows the carcass of a turtle lying on the sandy shore of Saint Martin's Island — FE Photo

Once a large number of sea turtles used to come to lay their eggs in the coral island of Saint Martin's during winter. But over the last few years it has come down a lot.

According to researchers, the island has become unsafe for sea turtles. They said building of hotels, motels, resorts and cottages on the island, human population, noise and presence of wildlife including dogs are responsible.

Meanwhile, researchers of Bangladesh Marine Research Institute found an extinct species of hawksbill turtle dead on the Uttarpara beach of St. Martin's recently. Abu Saeed Mohammad Sharif, senior scientific officer of the institute, is leading the research team of eight members.

He said the dead turtle was seen in the sandy beach of Saint Martin's. The tortoise was small, about one foot in size. Its back is skinned. But a little further away were the legs and back of the tortoise. It is a rare species sea turtle whose lips are like those of a hawk. Generally, they like coral areas very much and they live in these areas.

Abu Saeed Mohammad Sharif said that the tortoise probably died 4-5 days ago. But it is not known how it died. However, seeing the head injury marks, it can be assumed that the tortoise died due to a dog attack.

Bangladesh Marine Research Institute Director General Syed Mahmud Belal Haider said that the nesting habitat of turtles is being destroyed in Saint Martin's Island due to some reasons. Various establishments including hotels, motels, resorts and cottages have grown on the island. At the same time, the movement of people has also increased.

Now the big problem is dog. Dogs are seen attacking turtles and destroying the eggs too. For this, turtles are not seen in the coral island of Saint Martin's as before. In particular, hawksbill turtles are not seen at all.

He also said that the main thing is that turtles lay their eggs in that particular place every year. If there is noise, human migration or the presence of aggressive wildlife, sea turtles no longer come there to lay their eggs.

The habitats of the turtles on the island have been destroyed for various reasons. Besides, the number of dogs on the island has also increased.

Syed Mahmud Belal Haider said that the nesting habitats of turtles should be preserved in a natural way. "The dales that were on the island were destroyed. These deals should be brought back. Places where turtles lay their eggs should be identified. At the same time, the movement of people, the sound of music or the barking of dogs should be stopped in these places".

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