Marine Turtles and Migratory Birds Conservation at Sonadia, Maheshkahli and Kutubdia Island of Cox’s Bazaar, Bay of Bengal formally kicked off from December 2017.
Sonadia, Kutubdia and Moheshkhali islands are blessed with a good numbers and varied types of water channels merged together, getting input of water from the bay and forms unique estuarine/coastal habitat which harbors a great variety of coastal and marine life. Notable ecologically significant ecosystems and species of the islands are:
● Pristine sandy beach rich in different mineral resources
● Inter-tidal mudflats with highly dense and species diverse coastal wetlands having global biodiversity significance
●Mangroves and halophytic forest with its associated faunal community ,canals and creeks
● unspoiled Sand Dunes with mollusk beds and marine turtle breeding grounds
●Great Crested Tern, Indian River tern, Indian skimmer, Asian Dowitcher, Spotted Redshank, Spoonbill Sandpiper, Irrawaddy Dolphin and their habitat
●Stepping stones and flyways of migratory birds
● Rare mollusk porifera and coelenterate beds
● Blue water, high waved beach having aesthetic and natural beauty
●Commercially important Oyster (Pearl-producing) bed
●Spawning and feeding ground of estuarine Ichthyofauna
●Mangrove as carbon sink
●High density of pollination agent like bees and butterflies
●Amazing beauty of colorful crabs Uca population along beach
● Moheshkhali hills and semi-evergreen forest
●Charan dweep and Chakoria Sundarbans
Three species of marine turtles breeds in sonadia islands . these are Green turtles, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley during winter quarter. Anthropogenic threats and predation of eggs by dogs are major threats of breeding success of marine turtles in Sonadia. Globally threatened migratory birds such as Spoonbill Sand piper, Asian Dowitcher, Spotted Red Shank, Nordman’s Greenshank winters at sonadia island.
As a follow up of previous projects of CWBMP/DOE; SRCWP/BFD/MOEF, to sustain the efforts of protection of the nests of turtles and habitat, feeding and roosting ground of migratory birds , Team Isabela has started “ Marin Turtle and Migratory Birds Conservation Action 2018-2020” from its Marine Ecology Field Station at Sonadia Island.
Knowing ecology, breeding biology and migration pattern of marine turtles is one of the main research agenda for providing primary data for ensuring long term conservation management for turtles at Bangladesh territory.
Monitoring of migratory birds @ Sonadia is another important research agenda of Isabela Foundation to feeds updated information to East-Asia Australasian and Central Asian Flyways Network.
Team Isabela installed hoardings depicting slogans conveying conservation message and sign boards highlighting rules, regulations and laws of Wildlife Act in addition to patrolling by Isabela Wildlife scouts in the nesting beaches