Rakewa Turtle Watch

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hambanthota - rakawa

Rakeva is a town located about 10 kilometer from the southern coastal town of Tangalle. The structural changes of the landscape are due to being located in a dry intermediate climate zone. As a result, the diversity of wildlife in Rekava is huge. A wide range of habitats are conserved, from sandy beaches to lagoons, marshes, coral reefs and mangroves.This is an area of ​​great importance.

Sri Lanka is recognized as one of the few places in the natural habitat of seal turtles. Rakewa Sanctuary is the most famous reserve for sea turtles. The Rakewa Turtle Clock is a marine turtle conservation project aimed at protecting the nesting areas of turtles and ensuring that eggs can be safely hatched. Visitors can watch the turtle clock on any evening of the year, while volunteers at the center come to the beach from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm. There you can see the turtles laying eggs or returning to sea. Waiting for the turtles to appear takes a few hours and requires patience. During the high season (April - July), 5–15 tortoises appear every night, and during the low season (October - January) it is approximately 1-2. Although you can see many nights of the year, there is no guarantee that you will see a turtle.

Turtles have the amazing ability to locate the environment where they are. Thanks to the magnetic fields of the earth, the cubs that come to life will return to the same place as adults. When conditions are favorable for turtles, the beach becomes a safe haven and proves to be an ideal feeding ground for the various marine turtles that come to nests throughout the year. These include jellyfish, abundant green turtles that eat grass in sea grass beds, rare hawks mainly fed by sponges, and loggerheads and olive relish that live apart from shrimp and crabs. There are seven marine turtle species, five of which can be found off the coast of Sri Lanka, and all five are off the coast of Rekawa

These creatures live entirely in the ocean, and the female turtle comes to the nest several times a season. To fool the predators, she crawls around the area before laying her eggs in the right place. She starts by digging a hole in the bottle. She then lays 100 eggs, usually in a soft shell. Finally, it is filled with sand and covered with sand until the eye cannot detect it. Like most reptiles, soil temperature determines the gender of the eggs.

It takes two months before the calving process begins and is usually at night. The surface soil begins to move, as if it were breathing. The cubs simultaneously appear in the sand and move towards the sea. Only one of these thousand eggs will eventually survive, and the vast majority will fall prey to many predators.

The Rakewa Sanctuary is home to turtles, as well as native lagoons and scrubland habitats that provide more opportunities to stay with nature. During the bird watching season, the mangroves of the lagoon become a bird's paradise.It is one of the most visited natural spots in Sri Lanka

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