The Hawksbill Turtles of Qatar: World Turtle Day 2023
Qatar, a peninsula located in the heart of the Persian Gulf, stretches 160km from the Arabian peninsula coastline. The Gulf is characterized by two currents flowing along its northern and southern shores. These currents serve as migratory pathways for various species, carrying them from the Strait of Hormuz along the shores of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar, and eventually into the waters of the United Arab Emirates. As the current reaches Qatar, it deposits sand along the northeast coast, creating favorable feeding and nesting areas for sea turtles.
Qatar is home to at least four species of sea turtles: the Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, and Loggerhead Turtle. While Green Turtles are predominantly encountered at sea and are more abundant, it is the Hawksbill Turtles that nest on the beaches of Qatar. The presence of other turtle species is less common, with Leatherback Turtles being particularly rare.