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Sea Turtles- Birth Announcement 500+Hatchlings on Kaua’i!

Sea Turtles- Birth Announcement 500+Hatchlings on Kaua’i!

  In the Hawaiian Islands, Green Sea Turtles have made a great comeback in the past few decades. On our Snorkel charters, it still amazes me to see the sheer number of animals we are blessed to swim with everyday. As a Marine Biologist, I am then overwhelmed that I have lived long enough to see female sea turtles come back to the major Hawaiian Islands to nest. Here on Kaua’i we can boast more turtle nests than anywhere in the state! This fall season it has been recorded that 19 Kaua’i beaches (360 degrees around the island) have had successful sea turtle nests. Although the true tally of live turtle hatchlings has not been published, the 2011 estimate is 500-1,000! This increase is very encouraging, yet only a few hatchlings per nest will survive to adulthood. Female often come ashore to nest, several times in a season, but will wait 2 or 3 years to nest again. Green Sea Turtles nest at night and dig a “body pit” with rear flippers She will deposit approximately 100 eggs into this flask shaped egg cavity. The female will cover the nest with sand and head back to the sea. That is the end of her parental involvement. The incubation period is 2 months. Turtles use a specialized egg-tooth called a caruncle to break free of their shell and then use teamwork to climb to the surface. The journey to the ocean is when the turtle hatchlings become affected by environmental hazards. Vehicle tracks and marine debris are some of the physical threats caused by humans, but by far the lights...
Turtle Hatchlings on Kaua’i

Turtle Hatchlings on Kaua’i

Kaua’i Sea Riders Crew have had a great 2010 summer! Na Pali Charters, South Shore Reef Charters and Now…. Turtle Hatchlings! The “Na Honu Kai” have recently been nesting around the island on a few remote beaches.In the past this was unheard of as Sea Turtles were hunted almost to extinction in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Most females would migrate to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, sometimes 800 miles or more, each way, to avoid humans, who are their #1 predator. But since their protection in the 1970’s we are seeing a comeback and change of natural history in that all Sea Turtles of the world will generally go back to the place that they were born in order to build their nests. Could it be that they are more comfortable around people, that we aren’t as threatening? For the 1st time in over 10 years, nests were successfully monitored and protected by the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands: John Burger, also known as  “Navy’s Nature Guy” and Kaua’i’s Aquatic Biologist: Don Heacock, helped with the survival of dozens of the Pacific Green Sea Turtles.  A significant blessing and bridge from the military to the eco-community! Hatchlings still have to face their natural enemies, such as Crabs and Sea Birds and of course the ” Mano” or sharks. We are trying to lend a hand by marking off nesting sights, fencing off nesting areas inland and scooting the newborn Sea Turtles,who are lost, into the Sea. Check out this video: Movin’Out Young Sea Turtles, will now endure what is called the “Lost Years”, a time when they live...