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The Southern Coastal belt of the island is particularly great to spot several species of notable turtles. With an increased level of human interferences such as beach development, poaching, and fishing, the turtle population in the surrounding waters of Sri Lanka is rapidly declining, with three out of the seven species of sea turtles now classified as endangered and the remaining as critically endangered.
There are several sea turtle hatcheries located along Mirissa that strive to put in place conservation efforts to save some of these species that nest on these shores, including the giant leatherback turtle, loggerhead, Oliver Ridley and the Hawksbill turtles
The sea turtle hatcheries also house injured or disabled turtles who wouldn’t survive the predators out in the seas and usually are given time to recuperate to build their strength before being released back to the ocean.
One will also get the opportunity to take a look at the three-day-old babies swimming around in tanks before being released to the ocean. You can also take part in releasing the turtles either early morning or during an evening for an added fee.
You will be assigned a guide, who will fill you in the conservation efforts taken by the sanctuary, and explain more about the turtle species they are housing. You can wind down the tour by heading to the back of the establishment, of the hatcheries, where you can take in securely fenced off area. Here turtle eggs are buried until they hatch. Signs have been installed by each nest to advise visitors on the species of turtles buried in the sand.
Usually, the local fisherman collects the eggs and sell them to established due to the fact that if the eggs are left on the shores, they are often taken by poachers who will sell them on the black market or eaten by predators.
The Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project is located on 13 A Galle Road, Mahapalana, Kosgoda, and is best reached via either car or taxi or even by bus.