Turtle hatchlings usually emerge from the sand at dusk when most of their predators are sleeping. Lying in wait within the sand column, they know its getting dark because the sand begins to cool. After some frantic scrambling, they cautiously peek over the rim of the nest area, looking for the brightest point on the horizon before making a mad dash to the sea, while trying desperately to avoid nocturnal crabs and other predators, lying in wait.
In this case, however, Nigel had some assistance. MCSS, funded by the Banyan Tree Resort’s Green Imperative Fund, runs a Nesting Turtle Monitoring Programme on Anse Intendance,
In the case of Nigel’s nest, an emergence dip (a shallow depression in the ground indicating a hatched nest) was observed and the nest was dug out by the research team. Imagine our surprise to find the hatchlings still in the nest (usually we get to deal with rotting eggs and maggots).
After alerting the hotel reception, so they could advise their clients of the happy event, we gathered all the hatchlings and moved them to a more suitable location on the beach for release. A study in
The first crawl down the beach can be a dangerous adventure for a turtle hatchling,photo Sam Bonham
Once in the water, Nigel swims perpendicular to oncoming waves and will travel many hundreds of kilometres until he reaches the drift line where he will stay for the next 10 to 15 years before returning to shore to begin the next phase of his life cycle as a juvenile.