Major Win for the Leatherback in Isla Verde

The Crowd observing the Hatchling attempting to reach the water.
The Crowd observing the Hatchling attempting to reach the water.

This year has been a good year for Turtle Nests on Isla Verde beach.

We have seen an increase of Leatherback Sea Turtle nests arriving on our beach.

Major Win for the Leatherback 88% of the Nest hatched

Yesterday we had one nest hatch and 88% of the eggs hatched. According to Paco Lopez-Mujica leader of Arrecifes Pro Ciudad that is a win compared to the average 50% probability of sea turtle eggs hatching.

Isla Verde Volunteers Protecting Leatherback Sea Turtle Nests

More importantly, those sea turtle nests are protected by a group of volunteers from Arrecifes Pro Ciudad.

The volunteers from Arrecifes Pro Ciudad led by Paco Lopez-Mujica work for months to protect our local reef. A large part of the work I see them do is protecting Sea Turtles.

During the Sea Turtle nesting and hatching season, it's very normal to see the volunteers working long hours on the beach.

Hatched Eggs Being Counted
Hatched Eggs Being Counted

It Takes a Village & Arrecifes Pro Ciudad

Arrecifes Pro Ciudad observe if Sea Turtles are coming on our beaches to lay eggs. They have volunteers walking the beach while others sleep trying to see if any sea turtles are laying eggs. .

The Complete Process from Laying Eggs to Monitoring until they Hatch

Once a turtle comes on the beach, they mark the nests to protect them from the humans on the beach. They also make sure that if the nest is to close to the shore, they can move the eggs to an area where they won't be inundated by the water.

Buildings and Developments Too Close to the Water are a Threat

Many of the man-made structures that are too close to the shore confuse sea turtles and make them lay eggs when the tide is low. If these nests are not relocated, the eggs would drown under water.

Arrecifes Pro Ciudad also educates the public on adequate lighting in buildings near the beach. If buildings have too much light, the Mother Sea Turtle will head towards the building and not back to the ocean.

Arriving to Watch the Last Sea Turtle Enter the Water

Yesterday I was able to presence the last part of the Sea Turtle nest hatching.

I was notified of the event and when I arrived all the sea turtles had hit the ocean and left.

Two volunteers helping the last hatchling who had some trouble coming out of the nest.  They are creating a path to help them find the water.

Helping the One Sea Turtle that needed Help

There was one tiny sea turtle who had some trouble getting out of the nest and was left there so folks could see it up close.

A great opportunity for everyone to get close to the little creature. Hopefully that experiences will help them understand the importance of protecting them.

Once everything was done and said, 63 baby sea turtles dipped in the water and went their way into the Atlantic Ocean.

Instinct and mother nature will take care of them.

Before they hit the water a bit of help from the volunteers of Arrecifes Pro Ciudad increases their chances of surviving. Those volunteers made those 63 sea turtles have a better chance on a very crowded beach of making it.

There are few more nests; I only wish I can see the full cycle of a nest hatching.

Hatchling had to be helped into the water by one of the certified volunteers.

Thanks to all the Isla Verde Volunteers

For now, I am grateful that I was able to see the last sea turtle being helped to make it into the water.

Thanks Paco, Annette, Annie, and the rest of the volunteers for all the hard work you have put in for the past few months.

More Photos...

Here are some of the photos I took. If you are interested in any, please contact me directly for a license on using the images.

Learn More of Arrecifes Pro Ciudad

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