Over 300 hawksbill turtles were hatched on local beaches and released into the open sea, in Singapore this past month.
The authorities revealed that the operation was carried out in the hopes of raising the population of the hawksbill turtles, which is a critically endangered species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
These turtles are endangered because of threats to their natural habitats due to development in coastal areas, as well as pollution. They are also a favorite target of poachers, who sell their shells for ornamental hairpins and combs, or for use in making jelly for desserts. Turtle meat is also coveted for making soup.
Hawksbill turtles are located around coral reefs in tropical oceans. They have beaks that are narrow and pointed, hence their name.
The National Parks Board, the governing board for parks and nature reserves in Singapore, announced recently that the turtles were hatched on three beaches across the country.
More than 100 of these turtles were hatched on Sentosa Island, a venue popular with tourists. Since 1996, this is the fourth time that a turtle nest has been found there. In July a turtle nest was discovered on Sentosa Island, which prompted authorities to create a barrier around it for protection against crabs and monitor lizards.
From September 15 to 25, 321 turtles in all were hatched in Sentosa Island, Satumu Island south of the main island of Singapore, and also on a beach on the east coast.