Welcome to the New Year! 2015 has so far been off to a tremendous start, with the Conservation Team already having had four turtle encounters and many new nests. More excitingly, our centre is steadily creeping closer to being officially open as our brand new pumps and filters for the breeding and rehabilitation tanks have arrived.
The pumps have appeared just in time to welcome our new guests; Stumpy, Fatso, Rambo and Sharky. These four terrapins are just the beginning of our breeding program and if you want to know more about them, please read their bios coming up in the next blog post.
Additionally, the start of the new year marks the beginning of hatching season. As such, the Conservation Team has begun to dig up old nests that are two weeks past their estimated hatching date to calculate egg clutch survival and hatching success. It was in one such nest near the Rumshack at Intendance that a Conservation Team member found over a hundred hatchlings, biding their time before emerging. After consulting the Turtle Patrol Team who luckily were close at hand, it was decided to bring the hatchlings to the high-tide line and allow them to make their own way down the beach. This meant that the hatchlings would face fewer obstacles and be less likely to get stepped on later in the day as the Rumshack got busier. To their delight, many guests and tourists got to carry some hatchlings as we attempted to get them to the high-tide line as quickly as possible. Daytime emergence for hatchlings is not ideal as the weather conditions can be too hot for them to handle. Fortunately, the sky was overcast and we managed to move all of the hatchlings within ten minutes.
After waving off our adorable friends, we counted the number of eggshells left inside the nest. As I’m sure you can imagine, counting the moving hatchlings as they sped off towards the water was a tad difficult. The nest was 100% successful, with 143 eggs all hatched and no signs of predation. Unfortunately, due to disturbance both natural and anthropogenic, not all nests are as successful – but it was the perfect conclusion to this happy event.
Continue reading our blog to hear more about turtles and terrapins and read our next special blog post dedicated to the Conservation Centre’s new terrapin guests!