Finally i got the internet connection working again, so i can post this picture! About a week ago our volunteers found these Green Turtle tracks on one of the beaches we monitor. Good news is that these were the first tracks on that particular beach since 2010. Sad news is that this a so called fake-crawl, so there is no actual nest.
The tracks are 1,1m wide so the animal itself is quite big. Green turtles usually lay 2-3 nests within couple of weeks. They need to rest between crawls for couple of days since moving hours on the dry land is very exhausting for them. The whole nesting effort is also very straining on the turtle, which is why this turtle species’ nesting cycle is about 2 years.
Usually turtles lay around 100 eggs per nest, which then hatches in 45-65 days depending on the species. The natural survival rate of the newborn hatchlings is gruesome, 1 out of 1000 will make it to adulthood. And this is before human interventions and killings.
Since humans started to roam the seas and developed fishing nets etc the sea turtle population of the world took dramatic decline. All of the 7 species of sea turtles currently in the world are endangered, and some are facing extinction.
Especially sad is the faith of the largest species of them all, the Leatherbacks. They have been around unchanged for at least the last 65 million years, so their ancestors saw the dinosaurs! All this time they have managed to survive through meteors, extinction of dinosaurs, ice ages and so on. Only to die in the hands of greedy and uncaring humans.
On this island we are also affected by the declining number of sea turtles. The main two species who nest here (Green Turtle and Olive Ridley) had 30 years ago over 250 nests on our main nesting beach. This year the number is 5. There have been even years with no nests.
So now is the time to act! What can you do to help the Sea Turtles?
First of all, don’t eat/buy/catch/hunt or kill them. That’s easy. Don’t buy souvenirs and accessories made from real turtle shells. Donate money or your time as a volunteer to charities dedicated to help the Sea Turtles. Let your parliament representative know that you demand Turtle Release Doors to be installed to commercial fish nets allowing turtles to escape while keeping the fish/shrimps in. Sign petitions for this in the internet. There are so many ways to help. If we are successful, then your children and grand children will still know Sea Turtles as living creatures, instead of just pictures in books.