On Friday we introduced you to Serenity-Pact, that's the name of a Hawksbill Turtle captured by researchers on the Manatee Bar, which is on the eastern edge of the Manatee Lagoon.

The Hawksbill is believed to be more than 100 years old (!) - and at 170 pounds is a mature healthy female. She was caught while trying to lay her eggs on the beach north of Mullins River - which is the most popular nesting area for Hawksbill turtles in Belize. When we visited on Friday we found out why it is such a popular nesting area.

In our last report, Serenity the Hawksbill was set free with a satellite tag mounted on her back. She jetted off, but for all that happiness to be free, she didn't go far.

This map shows the signals her tag has sent back in three days- she's hovering in the same Manatee Bar area. That's because she has eggs to lay - that's called a clutch and is looking for a nesting area - and she has to do it here on the beach where she was born over a century ago.

And that's the important of this satellite tag - for the six months that it is attached to her back - it will tell them about her nesting habits

Kevin Andrewin, Chairperson - Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
"We will get at least as I say how much clutch - the time exactly, how much time it will come back, we expect it to come back on the beach at least 5-6 times."

Each time she comes - she will bury over 100 eggs in a nest like this one. Andrewin and his team of volunteers have covered it to protect it from predators:

Kevin Andrewin, Chairperson - Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
"We have to be on the beach every day we have predators that will attack these nest - predators that will attach the hatchling and if a predator attack the nest it could eat out all eggs especially the raccoon. But also we have a jaguar that is doing a special protection on the beach. That jaguar patrols from site 1 to site 6 which is 6 miles of beach and what the jaguar do is use the nest to feed because they know that the raccoon and skunk will want to go after the eggs and so the jaguar will go after them. Right now we don't have that much problem with predators as last year. Last year we lose about 40 plus nests."

This year has not been that bad though and this nest hatched. They can freely dig it up today to determine the viability of the clutch:

Kevin Andrewin, Chairperson - Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
"What we will do is come back to the nest and we will excavate the nest. We will dig up the egg and see the amount of shells remain and see if we have egg in there that is undeveloped - the man that don't hatch and then we will assume from the status of the nest what takes place while some of the egg don't hatch."

So he has to take out each egg - to see how many hatched, how many did not and what stage of development the unhatched ones got to - sort of like a post mortem for eggs.

The turtles dig pretty deep and excavating all the eggs takes more than a few minutes. Then for all those that didn't hatch - he has to see what stage of development they did reach - which means breaking a lot of rotten eggs - these ones never developed

But this one did - except it got stuck at the bottom of the clutch, beneath all those eggs and died, never made it to the sea - but about 85 of them did:

Kevin Andrewin, Chairperson - Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
"When the young hatch go to the beach - as soon as they find the water they can swim constantly for 24 hours at a speed of 1 mile per hour. so these young turtles are in pretty good swimming shape."

And despite all those that did not make it - this is judged to be a healthy clutch:

Kevin Andrewin, Chairperson - Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
"It's not a full grown female because of the clutch size. The clutch size is 137 which is a little bit under what a Hawksbill Turtle normally lay. A Hawksbill Turtle normally lay anything between 150-180 eggs."

And that happens all along this coast - but not on the open beach - in shaded areas like these, navigating even litter and refuse.

Kevin Andrewin, Chairperson - Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
"For Belize this is the largest nesting beach. Its expand like 7 miles I would say because we have like 2 1/2 miles on the north side of the beach - it's difficult to reach there. But over on the north side in July alone we have like 35 false crawl which is 35 turtle run over there and crawl."

But it is a precious nesting area under pressure - because it is so precious:

Kevin Andrewin, Chairperson - Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
"It is a problem now and it will become a problem for Belize because all of this land is already sold to foreigners and so. What I want the Department of the Environment to do and maybe the Fisheries Department and so is to recognize this place as an important nesting beach for Belize and also not to have them clear all the vegetation down."

And so while Serenity may have seemed dejected at her brief detention - if this nesting area is to be preserved, it will be turtles like her and tracking devices like this that provide the information which force policy makers to enact laws to protect it.

You can find a link to follow the Hawksbill you saw in that story at 7newsbelize.com…. http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?tag_id=108311&full=1&lang=

A healthy, mature female like her is expected to lay as many as 180 per clutch and she has five to six clutches per laying season. After that she will go into the far reaches of the open seas and return to lay again a few years later….

Channel 7