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2018 Sea Turtle Nesting Season #530919
06/11/18 11:32 AM
06/11/18 11:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Turtle nests threatened by development on Ambergris Caye

The 2018 sea turtle nesting season has commenced, and personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve have been monitoring the first two nests found in northern Ambergris Caye. Despite this early spotting, marine biologists at Hol Chan are uncertain about the success of the season this year, due to the fact that improper garbage disposal and new construction/ development continue to threaten the future of the nesting grounds. They ask the general public visiting the beaches north of San Pedro Town to be extra cautious and to not interfere with any potential turtle nests.

The season normally runs from May through November of each year, and most of the nesting usually takes place in Robles or Rocky Point Beach in the northern part of the island. The main visitors are loggerhead and Green turtles, with the Hawksbill making rare visits. According to Kirah Forman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan, these turtles take many years to mature and up to 20 years to return to their natal beach to nest themselves. Forman believes that at one time, all of Ambergris Caye was a nesting site for turtles. “The development on the island has driven the turtles to the remote areas where there is no infrastructure,” said Forman. “In the past, turtles might have been nesting on where is now Central Park, but with the activity there now, no turtle might ever come back there to lay eggs.” Forman warns that if development is not done in a sustainable manner, the turtles may eventually stop coming to nest on Ambergris Caye. “We are not saying no to development, however, it needs to be done in a way that it will not discourage the turtles from coming to our shores every year,” said Forman. “If there is too much activity and the nesting grounds are disturbed, the turtles will look for other places to lay their eggs.” Some of the factors that continue to impede the migration of turtles are the excessive of lights at some beach properties and the constant building of seawalls, which makes it impossible for these turtles to reach the beaches to nest.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Re: 2018 Sea Turtle Nesting Season [Re: Marty] #532105
09/01/18 04:58 AM
09/01/18 04:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Hol Chan asks residents to refrain from interfering with turtle nests and hatchlings

The 2018 turtle nesting season is at its peak on Ambergris Caye, with nests hatching along the northern coastline. The number of nests has been increasing annually and some turtles have been nesting near areas with development. At such, nearby residents/visitors might stumble into a hatching nest and be tempted to help the baby turtles reach the sea. This action, well-intended as it may be, is discouraged by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, who urges the public when discovering a nest with baby turtles to contact them at 226-2247 any day during normal working hours. They advise that for the well-being of the turtles and to keep accurate statistics for their marine turtle program, people need to avoid coming into contact with the nest or the hatchlings.

Hol Chan marine biologist Kirah Forman noted that when people tamper with nests, it is impossible to keep an accurate record as to the success of the hatching and how many turtles made it out. “We want to leave the process of them getting out of the nest as natural as possible as these turtles will come back to nest at the same beach where they were born,” said Forman. “If someone finds a nest with little baby turtles, they should give us a call right away then just observe and not try to intervene”. There are times when Hol Chan needs to relocate nests or assist hatchlings to make it safely to the sea, but according to Forman, there is a process to do so. “We try not to do it, unless it is absolutely necessary, perhaps, if the nest is compromised and all babies could perish,” she said. “When we take them out, we allow them to crawl to the shore and still try to keep it as natural as possible.” Foreman also indicated that sea turtles have a high mortality rate and the reason they have been able to survive up to today is the fact that every nest has around 100 eggs. Even when all or most of those eggs hatch, only one or two of those baby turtles will manage to survive into adulthood and return to the beach to lay the eggs for the next generation.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

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