Abu Dhabi: More than 350 endangered Hawksbill turtles, named for their conspicuous beaked snouts, have hatched on UAE`s Saadiyat island, an official said Sunday.
The moment they emerge, the turtles instinctively head to the sea, as bright light disorients them.
The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), which is developing the island as a tourism hub in collaboration with the environmental agency, adheres to strict construction guidelines to ensure protection of the turtles, said Nasser Al Shaiba, environment affairs director of TDIC.
"Our aim is to ensure that development does not disturb the natural habitat (of turtles) or wildlife of the island," the official said.
The turtles live in the coastal shallows off the island, and feed on sponges and mollusks. During the nesting season, experts monitor their development.
Hawksbills are seen in their natural habitat while snorkeling off the coast.