Save sea turtles

You may see a man with buckets on beaches across all Latin America seashore.

This guy here has been working for more than 20 years in Sea Turtles Preservation Fund, headquartered in Cancun, Mexico. Why do you have to preserve sea turtles? The species copulate in the water, and during the nesting season which lasts from May to September, the female lays 70-100 eggs every 10 days. To lay the eggs, it goes out of the water to the shore, where it digs a nest in the sand. You can see the tracks where it returned to the water, and a bit further are tracks that lead to the nest. It spends about 4 hours on the shore. Most of the time period, about 2 hours is spends digging the nest, which is at least 70 cm deep. If you are wondering why it takes so long, put on some diving fins on your arms and go dig some holes in the kids sandbox. If there is not enough sand or the turtle hits a rock, or something else prevents it from digging nest deep enough, the turtle stops digging and returns to the sea. If it is satisfied with the nest, the turtle lays the eggs, and covers the nest with sand, which takes another hour, and then returns to the sea. 6 weeks later the baby turtles hatch and start to dig up to the surface, and crawl around in the search for water. The tiny marks on the sand is where the babies set of for the ocean. Few make it out of the nest, and none may reach the water, as on their birthday each and every local predator pays a visit to feast on the fresh turtles. Even now, paying no attention to so many humans present, birds of prey occupy the nearby tree searching for the baby turtles. So, out of 100 eggs, none may actually grow up into a turtle. And this happens all the time. This is exactly why sea turtles need to be protected with a stick like this. The stick is used to feel where the nest may be. Yes, sometimes he may break an egg, but then he makes sure one hundred hatches and reaches the sea. If he doesn’t find and collect the eggs, every egg will die. As you can see, the arm goes completely into the hole. The eggs look like ping-pong balls, and they also sag a little when you press even gently. You must not rotate it – you have to lift and put the egg into the bucket in exactly the same position it was in the nest. Sometimes tiny, not fertilized eggs appear. If the nest has many deformed eggs, that means the turtle’s reproductive system is tired, and that was her last nesting for this season. The bucket has around 70 eggs. After all the eggs are collected, they are transported to a special hatchery, covered with metal mesh to protect the babies from predators. In around 45 days, the eggs hatch and stay deep in sand. They don’t suffocate because there is a little air in the sand, and as all reptiles, turtles are able to reduce their metabolism. The babies are removed from the sand, put into the bucket, splashed with water and transported to the seashore to be released. The soft spot on the belly is actually the navel. Every baby has one, and it will dry out and fell off later. The turtles are not too good at running, but they are awesome swimmers. Baby turtles eat small crabs, worms, shrimps and other tiny sea creatures, but when they grow up, they go strict vegetarian and feed on seaweed only.

Leave a Reply