Sea Turtle Hatchery and Rescue Centre


Sea Turtle Hatchery and Rescue Centre is located a few kilometres north of the Hikkaduwa town. A centre manages some of the endangered varieties of turtles in the environment. It is simply one of many turtle hatcheries on the southern coast of the land. Initially commencing as a community project to help preserve the biodiversity of the south coast,Sri Lanka, it is presently a fully-fledged hatchery and rescue centre with dedicated teams that work round the clock to study, care and protect rare turtle species.

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Importance of Sea Turtles and Conservation Efforts

Sea turtles are not only a marvel of nature but also essential for maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems. These gentle reptiles help control jellyfish populations and support healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs. Unfortunately, they face numerous threats, including entanglement in fishing gear, coastal development, and the illegal wildlife trade.

To combat these challenges, dedicated conservationists have established sea turtle hatcheries worldwide. These organizations aim to protect sea turtle nests, ensure the safe hatching of eggs, and release the hatchlings into the ocean. Sea turtle hatcheries serve as sanctuaries for these vulnerable creatures and contribute significantly to their preservation.

Hikkaduwa: A Haven for Sea Turtles

Hikkaduwa, located on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, is renowned for its beautiful beaches and vibrant marine life. This coastal town serves as a nesting ground for several sea turtle species, including the Green Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, and Olive Ridley Turtle. Its pristine beaches provide the perfect environment for sea turtles to lay their eggs.

Sea Turtle Hatchery in Hikkaduwa

At the heart of Hikkaduwa's sea turtle conservation efforts is the Sea Turtle Hatchery. This hatchery serves as a crucial hub for protecting sea turtle nests, incubating eggs, and releasing hatchlings into the ocean. The hatchery works closely with local communities and volunteers to create awareness and engage in conservation activities.

The primary objective of the hatchery is to ensure the survival of sea turtle populations through various initiatives. These include regular patrols of nesting sites, relocating vulnerable nests to a safer area, and educating the public about the importance of sea turtle conservation. By actively involving the community, the hatchery fosters a sense of responsibility and ownership among locals.

Life Cycle of Sea Turtles

Understanding the life cycle of sea turtles is crucial for appreciating the importance of hatcheries. Sea turtles begin their life as tiny hatchlings that emerge from eggs buried in the sand. The hatchlings make their way to the ocean, facing numerous obstacles and predators along the way. Once in the water, they embark on an incredible journey, often spanning thousands of miles, to reach their foraging grounds.

Sea turtle hatcheries provide a controlled environment for the hatchlings during their critical early stages. The hatchlings are protected from predators and guided towards the ocean, increasing their chances of survival. By monitoring their progress and releasing them at the appropriate time, hatcheries give sea turtles a fighting chance in their vulnerable early life.

Visitors' Experience at the Hatchery

The Sea Turtle Hatchery in Hikkaduwa offers a unique and educational experience for visitors. Guided tours provide insights into the life cycle of sea turtles, the challenges they face, and the conservation efforts being undertaken. Visitors can witness the hatching process, hold and release baby turtles, and learn about responsible tourism practices.

For those looking to get more involved, the hatchery offers volunteering opportunities. Volunteers can assist with daily operations, including feeding and cleaning sea turtle tanks, maintaining the hatchery facilities, and participating in beach cleanups. This hands-on experience allows individuals to make a tangible difference in sea turtle conservation.

Positive Impact and Success Stories

The efforts of the Sea Turtle Hatchery and similar initiatives have yielded positive results. Sea turtle populations in Hikkaduwa have shown signs of recovery, with increased numbers of nests and successful hatchings. Local communities have embraced the importance of sea turtle conservation, actively participating in nest protection and reporting sightings.

The hatchery also has heartwarming success stories of injured or sick sea turtles that have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild. These success stories highlight the resilience of sea turtles and the significant impact that conservation efforts can have on their survival.

Challenges and Future Conservation

While sea turtle hatcheries have made significant progress, challenges persist. One of the most pressing issues is plastic pollution, which poses a grave threat to sea turtles. Ingestion of plastic bags and other debris can be fatal for these creatures. Efforts to reduce plastic waste and promote recycling are crucial for the long-term survival of sea turtles.

Sustainable tourism also plays a vital role in sea turtle conservation. Visitors to Hikkaduwa and other coastal areas should follow responsible tourism practices, including proper waste disposal and avoiding activities that disturb nesting sites. By promoting sustainable practices, tourists can contribute to the preservation of these majestic creatures and their habitats.

Looking ahead, the Sea Turtle Hatchery in Hikkaduwa plans to expand its conservation efforts. This includes strengthening partnerships with local communities, conducting research on sea turtle behavior, and implementing educational programs in schools and communities. By continuously adapting and evolving, the hatchery aims to secure a brighter future for sea turtles.

Sea turtles hold a special place in our hearts and play a crucial role in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems. The Sea Turtle Hatchery in Hikkaduwa exemplifies the dedication and passion of individuals committed to their conservation. Through their efforts, sea turtle populations have shown signs of recovery, and local communities have become staunch allies in the fight to protect these magnificent creatures.

If you're visiting Hikkaduwa or planning a trip to Sri Lanka, make sure to include a visit to the Sea Turtle Hatchery. Witness the remarkable journey of these ancient reptiles, lend a helping hand in their conservation, and create lasting memories that will inspire others to join the cause.


1. How long does it take for sea turtle eggs to hatch? Sea turtle eggs typically take around 50 to 60 days to hatch, depending on the species and environmental conditions.

2. Are sea turtles endangered? Yes, most sea turtle species are considered endangered or threatened due to various human activities and natural threats.

3. Can I volunteer at the Sea Turtle Hatchery in Hikkaduwa? Yes, the hatchery offers volunteering opportunities for individuals interested in contributing to sea turtle conservation efforts.

4. How can I support sea turtle conservation efforts? You can support sea turtle conservation by following responsible tourism practices, reducing plastic waste, and supporting local organizations and initiatives dedicated to their protection.

5. Are there any regulations in place to protect sea turtles? Yes, many countries have implemented laws and regulations to protect sea turtles, including restrictions on hunting, egg collection, and habitat destruction.



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