Marine turtles were living in the ocean for about 190 million years. Among them there are 08 marine turtle species are living in the world today, among them 05 of the species can be seen in Sri Lanka. There are about 15 turtle sanctuaries along the cost line from Colombo to Yala.
Marine turtles are threatened species because of human activities such as killing them for meat for shells, get trapped in to fishing nets, dies eating polythene and they are loasing their breading grounds as well. Building stone walls for conservation of the cost line, houses, and commercial buildings has led to limit the turtles coming to the sandy beaches to nest.
Turtles come to nest in South west and South Eastern cost of Sri Lanka. In the South western cost areas like Induruwa, Kosgoda, Akurala, Mavela and Rekava are identified as the places. In the South Eastern cost beaches like Usangoda, Ambalantota, Bundala to Yala are identified. The species visiting these beaches as follows.
• Induruwa – Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle
• Kosgoda – Loger head Turtle, Hawlesbill Turtle and the three species found in Induruwa
• Akurala – Green Turtle
• Mavela – Green Turtle and Leatherback Turtle
• Usangoda – Leatherback Turtle
• Ambalantota – Green Turtle and Leatherback Turtle
• Bundala – Green Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle
• Yala- Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle
Adult female turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs. They lay between 80 and 120 eggs. The shape of the eggs is like a table tennis ball which is same in size. During a season a female turtle will nest up to five times. Turtles prefer to lay their eggs in a calm, quite and dark environment.
Turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka play an important role in protecting these beautiful animals. There are many Turtle hatch in south-west cost of Sri Lanka in areas like Induruwa, Kosgoda, Akurala, Mavela and Rekava.You can visit these hatcheries for a very low cost and get an idea about conservation of Turtles.