Saturday, April 18, 2009

A lucky break for our turtles

The turtle eggs rescued by Adam and Elke hatched out 10 days after the nest was relocated. Elke was enjoying one of many happy shopping sprees in South Africa, leaving Adam to celebrate an unofficial father’s day all on his own, as he watched his babies head off into the horizon.

As mentioned in the previous blog, 115 eggs were relocated to protect them from being washed away by the encroaching sea. Only 62 hatched, with the others being checked to confirm they had not been fertilised.

A close call. Two days after relocating the eggs, the beach area where the nest had been located was washed away, photo Elke Talma.

The 10 weird shaped eggs had been kept separate to see if the hatchlings were deformed, but luckily all was well, and the eggs that had been fertilised gave rise to a number of healthy looking baby turtles.

This season, we appear to have been having issues with low survival rates. In this case, a significant number of eggs did not appear to be fertilised while in other cases, continue rainfall meant that embryo’s from nests dug in poorly drained soil, died mid-way through the incubation period. The silver lining, however, is that if we hadn’t moved the eggs, 100% would have died!

Hawksbill hatchling on Intendance beach, photo Elke Talma.

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