Turtles are reptiles of the order Chelonii. Therefore, they are also called chelonians by researchers and conservationists. Chelonians are characterized by the special bony shell or carapace, which is developed from their ribs and acts as a shield. They are an old group with the very first proto-turtles having evolved over 220 million years ago in the Triassic Era. The order of Chelonii, also known as the Testudines, has three members in the group; turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. The waters around Sri Lanka are teeming with sea life. Though the threats to sea life exist here too, we take extensive measures to reduce the threats. Five out of the seven types of sea turtles call nest on our beaches. All of them are on the endangered list. The species that inhabit the seas around Sri Lanka are Leatherbacks, Green Turtles, Loggerheads, Hawksbills, Olive Ridley Turtles. The Sea Turtle Hatcheries function mainly as a hatchery and make huge efforts to increase the rate of hatching, and survival of baby turtles in their very initial stages. However, the Care centers also work on sick or injured adults; treating them and releasing them back into the ocean. They also run volunteer programs and awareness programs for local and international visitors.

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