Hawksbill Turtle Arrives at Sandy Point.

June 4, 2012

It is June and leatherback season seems to have peaked, with averages still steady at about 5 Mamas per night. Just over a week ago, 10 turtles came up on Sandy Point in one night. A record for the year! Hatchling season is in full swing, which is a wonderful accomplishment for us researchers. All the hard work we put in this season is paying off, with the hope of many more thriving leatherback nesting years to come. The beach is changing dramatically, as it does annually. As mentioned in the previous post, sand from the “Erosion Zone” disappears due to patterns in near shore currents. Where sandy beach once existed, vegetation such as Ipomea (coastal morning glory vines) weave throughout. The “Accretion zone” has extended significantly. The female leatherback have been loving this open, flat expanse of sand for nesting on  Sandy Point. Last night was a beautiful, fully moonlit evening, which allowed us to see magnificent dark figures arriving from far down the beach. Not only did we encounter 7 leatherbacks, but a hawksbill sea turtle decided to nest on the grassy portion of our patrol area. This is our first hawksbill encounter of the season, which is extremely exciting! They are known to nest throughout the year, so we had been expecting one any day. Perhaps a green sea turtle will nest in the next few days? Updates soon to come!!

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