Friday, September 16, 2011

ISS students to the rescue...

Our work-attachment students from the International School Seychelles were a part of a green turtle nest relocation this last week, and spent some considerable time helping to move the eggs to a safe location…

It was the first of the six beaches where we had found a green turtle nest. Unfortunately, it was situated near the shore line at Anse Grand Police where it was in harms way. Knowing that the tide would come up, it was critical that we had dig up the nest and relocate it into a safer place. After an hour of digging in all of the wrong places, Uzice finally came across a broken green turtle egg shell which gave us a clue that we were close. Digging in that direction, we suddenly touched upon the green turtle nest.

The team carefully excavate the area looking for the nest

By highlighting a dot on the top of every single egg, we were able to know the right way up before being carefully removing each egg. Once all 76 eggs had been placed on a plastic carrier bag, they were transferred further up the beach, away from the upcoming tides. Carefully bringing the eggs to the new location which was naturally protected by a sand bank, we gently placed them down before starting to dig the new hole, which had to be dug exactly to 82 cm as the nest environment had to be kept accurate.

Once we had dug the hole to the right size and depth, we passed the slightly indented egg shells (the last out of the nest) and put them in first. Then we put the undented shells in being careful to put them the right way up.

The translocated eggs in their new nest

We covered the egg chamber with sand and lightly patted it down so as not to crush the eggs, and then we marked the nest with a marker and took an accurate GPS reading to ensure us that we could easily relocate the nest if needed.

The completed nest and triumphant team (less Laura who took the photos)!

A well earned ice-cream on the way back to base!

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