Turtles in Mauritius
There are 2 species of turtles in Mauritius: Green and Hawksbill turtles. World-wide, there are 7 species of turtles, of those only 5 are found in the Indian Ocean (Green turtle, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback). Unfortunately the turtle populations in Mauritius have been heavily depleted due to human exploitation since the 19th century for their meat, eggs and shells. Because of this turtles have been protected by law since 1948.
You will find plenty of locals offering you snorkeling trips out to the reefs, and this can be a good way to see the colourful underwater life and hopeful spot a turtle. Long Beach of Pointe aux Piments on the northwest coast has a just-offshore protected coral reef and is renowned as one of the best places to spot sea turtles in Mauritius. Turtle Bay Marine park on the North West coast is a tranqui spot with a wide variety of corals, fish, predators and turtles living in this underwater paradise. However the giant turtles that earned this protected marine park the name Baie aux Tortues, (Turtle Bay) in the seventeenth century have long since gone.
It seems that the turtles do not nest in Mauritius anymore, so you will not find any turtle hatcheries to visit. There have recently been reports by locals to indicated they may be starting to make a comeback and a new project has been set up to find out if this is happening.
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