It is known that turtles always return to the same beach on which they were born to lay eggs. So, the destruction of their habitat is no less than a crime.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 11, 2019. It has since been updated.
Humans are constantly interfering with the lives of wild animals, ruining their habitat. Whether it's the plastic in oceans killing whales, dolphins and other creatures, the oil spills, or the felling of forests, humans are not good news for the wild.
A turtle in the Maldives that had come back to a nesting site to lay her eggs on the beach but found that she was in the middle of a new airport runway. Oblivious to the change, the poor creature was forced to lay her eggs there.
Maafaru Airport pic.twitter.com/SprjDEDbj5— adam nasym (@naibuthuthu) April 9, 2019
This is a direct attack on wildlife habitat. The green sea turtle is already endangered, listed by the IUCN, and now that her habitat is lost, who knows how the species will go forward. The turtle crawled to the middle of the 2,200m (7,200ft) Maafaru runway on the atoll of Noonu to lay the eggs, reported the Independent.
Breaking:— ɪʙʀᴀʜɪᴍ ᴍᴜᴀᴢ ᴀʟɪ (@SpokespersonMV) August 28, 2018
President inaugurates 'Maafaru International Airport' and Harbour.#NoonuRaaVisitpic.twitter.com/irFzLb02ce
Sea turtles return to the exact beach where they were born to lay their eggs as well. Some of them take long journeys to reach the same place to be able to lay their eggs but this change will affect future generations of turtles. According to Edition, the turtle has been released back into the ocean by locals. Sources told the Maldives news outlet that this is the first time this turtle landed up at this beach but Maafaru has a history of being a nesting site for hundreds of turtles.
"Despite the construction of the runway, the frequency with which turtles visit the island for nesting purposes has not decreased," claimed a source from Maafaru Island Council. Environmental activists have also raised concerns about restoring islands and atolls to their original, natural habitat so that the wildlife is not harmed.
The construction is not yet complete so it can be expected that more stretches of the beach will be taken up by tarmac and planned resorts and hotels on the island.
A UAE test flight has landed at Maafaru international airport showing the earliest phase of the airport venue preparing its transition into an international airport venue.— Maldives Business Review (@mvbizreview) October 16, 2018
Read More: https://t.co/5R7pkvhCuj pic.twitter.com/ncU9xYNQ8c
On Twitter, people expressed their disappointment at what happened to the mother turtle, who would have traveled thousands of miles to get there.
When human are encroaching animals land, this is what happens! Poor #turtle 🐢 mama might have traveling many miles just to give birth to her babies thinking it’s a still a safe earth for them. 😰 heartbreaking 💔 We must cut down human population on this earth to stop suffering.— YangChenDolkar (@DolkarChenYang) April 12, 2019
This is so sad to see, I guess she's not the only one either and was an important nesting site - what species is this?— Mangrove Action Project (MAP) (@MangroveProject) April 10, 2019
As much as 60% of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles have been wiped out since 1970, a report on the estimate of wildlife by WWF had said in October 2018. Growing consumption of food and resources by humans is destroying wildlife, according to the report published in the Guardian.
World Class Luxury Resorts on Noonu Atoll in Maldives Islands https://t.co/Mx4CpnEb5D pic.twitter.com/GPcObirgEK— Maldives Exclusive (@mvexclusive) March 30, 2019
In the recent past, multiple whales have been found beached with plastic products in their belly. In one case in Italy, the whale also had a dead fetus inside it along with 49 kg of plastic waste!
Humans aren't kind to creatures they find ashore either. Instead of returning them to the ocean where they can survive, some prefer taking selfies and letting it die on the hot beach, an incident that happened twice in Argentina.
“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.” “This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” he said. “This is actually now jeopardizing the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system.”