There are 45 islands in several atolls listed as turtle nesting islands, of which 16 islands are protected. Turtles and their eggs are vulnerable to poachers. They are also then prone to death as a result of entanglement in ghost fishing nets and ingesting plastic. Plastic bags floating in the water can be easily confused with jellyfish, which the turtles feed on. There are eight species of sea turtles, of which five are known to occur in the Maldives. The most commonly seen are the Hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and the Green turtle Chelonia mydas. Most of the nesting islands are Green turtles velaa and both adults and immature turtles are found throughout the archipelago. Other species include the Olive Ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, which are more common offshore, and the Leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea, which are both rarely seen.

Maldives Map
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