While we continue to search for our mama leatherbacks, we are starting to see our first nests of the season emerging from the sand. This is an exciting time for our team, as we watch the results of our nest protection and careful minding of the date as we anticipate the first hatchling emergences. This is also the time of year when fish and birds become more active predators (as they all know it’s hatchling season too!) and so we are monitoring nests for emergence very closely. Once the eggs have hatched and the hatchlings emerge, we dig up the nests a few days later to rescue any trapped hatchlings and to count the number of eggs that hatched so we can keep track of individual mother productivity and count the number of hatchlings leaving Sandy Point (a major management goal of the refuge).
If you’ve adopted a turtle, keep an eye on our page for updates on when your turtle’s nests are hatching! If you’d like to adopt a nest and help protect these little guys, please see our adoption page!
The St. Croix Leatherback Project is supported by the Sea Turtle Census Initiative, which is sponsored by The Ocean Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, based in Washington, D.C., but working globally to protect our oceans.