Baby turtle hatches in daytime on 7MB

| 01/09/2020 | 6 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Beachgoers were treated to a rare sight this weekend when one baby green turtle emerged from Seven Mile Beach in broad daylight at a Cayman Turtle Centre site at Villas of the Galleon. The CTC recently transplanted several dozen eggs laid at the facility to the beach and the young hatchlings began emerging this weekend. But one little straggler didn’t get out until Sunday afternoon and had to battle its way to the ocean in the heat of the mid-afternoon sun.

Officials from the CTC said that the on-site nest watcher had alerted them when the first hatchling’s head popped up through the sand at this transferred ‘nest’. A total of 26 hatchlings emerged at this particular site between Friday evening and Sunday evening, when two more stragglers made it to the beach around sunset.

“This nest was our last translocation of the season and the eggs came from the fifth clutch of this particular breeding female,” said Natalie Porter, the CTC marketing manager. “The early clutches of the season tend to have a higher hatch rate so this nest, at 52% hatch rate, was a little less than we might usually expect.”

The Turtle Centre has faced considerable controversies over the years, from the public money which has been injected into keeping the facility operating to concerns about disease and husbandry issues among the turtles bred for meat. The release of turtles bred in captivity into the wild has also caused concern for conservationists.

But statistics show that the turtles released in the past have come back to Cayman to nest and this has helped to boost the numbers of nesting turtles on local beaches. The selling of the farmed meat also helps to curtail poaching, giving the endangered wild species a chance of recovery.

“It takes decades for these released youngsters to mature into breeding adults in the wild, but we know that this release programme works and has been working steadily since it began in the 1980s,” Porter added.

A three-year collaborative scientific study published in 2019 by the Department of Environment, University of Barcelona, University of Exeter, and the Turtle Centre revealed that 90% of the wild nesting female green turtles in Cayman are offspring, either full or half-siblings, of the facility’s female captive breeders.

Porter said the nest translocations also provide an opportunity to educate the public on the conservation of green sea turtles and how we can all do our part to help protect these endangered creatures through measures such as installing turtle-friendly lighting.   

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Better check it for Corona

  2. Anonymous says:

    The turtle farm’s turtles are all messed up. They don’t have the same natural rhythyms as their wild counterparts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Light pollution messes up animals lives from pre conception to incubation and hatching(birth) through messing up their circadian rhythm.
      Not just lights on the beach during a hatching period.

      The same goes for people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is an awesome job the staff at the Turtle Centre ate doing with the translocation program. Very educational and effective in keeping the green turtle population alive.

    I was fortunate enough to witness a hatching in the early hours of the morning up in East End last year and it was awesome. Keep up the excellent work Turtle Centre.

    • Anonymous says:

      May be it is not so awesome if turtles hatch during day time. May be their internal “computer” is messed because the surrounding environment is also so messed up.
      We believe we can just interfere and everything is going to be fine. It is not. Just go to any zoo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually no. They’re doing a terrible job. Any other nesting operation – and there are a few nest management operations around the world – have a better hatch ratio. Shoot, wild turtle nests around the world have a better hatch ratio. (For ref, the CTC turtle nests are apparently hatch at 52%, or a little bit higher. That’s pitiful.)

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