Dawn turtles!

Welcome turtle fans! Female leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) usually nest at night and “Dawn Turtles” are what sea turtle monitors call those females that arrive on the beach when the sun is starting to rise. They make technicians stay up even later after a long night of work, but also offer rare opportunities to view and photograph and majestic animals. We had our 9th early morning turtle of the season just a couple days ago! We found her digging around 4am, and confirmed her as a neophyte (a new individual to our population on Sandy Point)!! She had decided to lay her eggs in a portion of our beach known as the “Erosion Zone”. Our crew caught, removed, and transported her fragile, leathery eggs to a safer portion of the beach, and carefully reburied them. Later in the season, we will see how many hatchlings emerge from this nest!!
Just a little bit about our beach: our beach is divided up between the “Grassy side”, and the “Sandy side”. The grassy portion is consistently covered in sea grass, while the sandy side is mostly open, sandy beach. The sandy side is then divided into the “erosion zone”, where sand is removed by seasonal patterns in nearshore currents, and then deposited just down the beach, in the “accretion zone”. One of Geographic Consulting’s main goals for the leatherback project is to not only tag every individual, but to also save as many eggs as possible in order to ensure a stable, growing turtle population. Any time a mama turtle lays her eggs anywhere in our “erosion zone”, the eggs are immediately taken to our “accretion zone”, where they stand a much higher chance of development and survival. Stay tuned for more exciting news on our turtles!!


bdaley2012-05-23 21:03:18

nice one!

Comments, Questions? Contact Us.