Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

June 29, 2011

more sea turtles

more big mamma turtles are coming ashore to lay their eggs.

a couple nights ago, these are a few of their tracks.

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they try to get farther inland, but they can not negotiate this two foot bank

in this case, she dug a large hole at the edge bank

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the turtle patrol collects many of the turtle eggs and buries them in this sanctuary

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at first glance, you might think it is a cemetery

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Each batch of eggs have a marker.

Number of batches collected, Date collected, military time collected, Specie

Number of eggs collected, Size  of Turtle and location

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Interesting info from the 54 signs:

Earliest collection = May 14, 2011

Most eggs collected from one momma = 171

Least amount of eggs collected from one momma = 25

Over half of the collections had resulted in more that 130 eggs being collected

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Our family was on the  beach last night to watch the big turtles come ashore.

It started about midnight and continued until after 3:00 am.

Our grandson, Garrett, had the experience of helping the ‘turtle patrol’ collect eggs.

One big momma dug a hole about the size of your dinner table and about three feet deep.

Once she started laying the eggs,  the attendants allowed Garrett to reach in

the hole and retrieve the eggs.

She laid 101 eggs.

Once finished she returned to the sea.

The process took her about three hours.

It was neat to stand beside a big sea turtle.

The ‘turtle patrol’ would not allow photos to be taken.

They thought the flash would disturb them.

June 20, 2011

Sea Turtles – time to lay your eggs

I was out early this morning unsuccessfully fishing in the surf when I noticed this big tractor tire tracks.   But wait,  it was a single track leading from the sea, wandering around on the beach and returning to the sea.  Of course, they were foot prints of a  large sea turtle coming to lay her eggs on the beach.

According to some locals, the turtles have been coming to this beach as it is a favorite nesting place and they have been coming to these shores between May and October for millenia.

Here is sorta how it happens.   At night the beaches are normally deserted except for a million stars and the noise of a crashing surf.  Then you might hear the sound of a gigantic mama turtle Thwap Thwap Thwap.

She will use her large flippers to dig a nest for her 100 or so ping-pong size eggs and then she will use the same flippers to cover the nest before returning to the sea for another year.  In about 60 days, the eggs will hatch and the baby turtles will make a run for their new home.

These big mammas can be three feet wide and more than three feet long.  On some beaches they have a turtle patrol to measure and tag her.  This allows her to be tracked, protected and preserved.  The Turtle Patrol will collect some eggs to incubate.

Garrett stands at a two foot ledge the big turtles must climb on the way to their nesting sites.

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A borrowed photo  –  the big turtle has laid her eggs on the Cancun Beach and returning to the sea.

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