Saturday, October 13, 2012

Turtle Stats for 2012

The sea turtle nesting and hatchling season has come to an end. We haven't had a nest since early August. Our 44th and final clutch of the year hatched about one week ago. The monsoon season, and its accompanying waves (which are a blast to surf in a sit-on-top kayak), is creeping in. So no more Green or Hawksbill turtles will lay eggs and obviously no new young-ins will hatch. As Mr. Womack sang, "it's all over now." Take a glance below at our numbers for 2012. Not atrocious, but not too robust either.

Only 8 female turtles visited 3 beaches. Not to confuse anyone but that's very low. There used to be 2-3 different turtles visiting Mentawak beach (where JTP resides) per night decades ago. This year just 3 showed up - out of 8 months when they coulda nested. The optimistic takeaway is that projects doing hatchery work, protecting eggs and releasing babies have seen an increase in nesting turtles, but we got a long way to go before that's possible for us. Green turtles take 25-40 years before they return to nest (longer than any turtle, marine or terrestrial, in the world). Hawksbills start plopping out eggs a little earlier, after 20 years. JTP has only been around for 6 years, with a government run hatchery operating for 5 years before that. We got some time before it's possible for more turtles to start showing up. Another bright spot: I'm proud of our 88.4% hatching success rate. At least we got as many of those tiny turtles into the ocean as we could.

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