Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bon Voyage, Little Loggerhead Babes/Kilpparit matkaan


Last night, the Captain and I noticed something was going on up ahead at the last turtle nest on St Pete Beach here in Florida. Guessing right away the turtles were hatching, we picked up the pace and were able to witness eleven loggerhead turtles being released into the Gulf of Mexico.


These turtles needed some help. Water had washed up over the nest a couple of times, and since it had been over two months since the eggs were laid, the turtle watch volunteers decided to dig up the eggs to see what was going on.

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Good thing they did. Most of the eggs had not developed (due to the temperatures of their nest), and since getting out of their sandy hole is a group effort, the few live turtle babies most likely would have never been able to dig out by themselves.

Eleven two-inch hatchlings were found, and placed in a cooler, while one of the volunteers kept digging and checking for eggs. The eggs lined up are the ones that didn't make it.

The female loggerhead lays up to 120 eggs in a three-foot cavity she prepares one night. We found out she does this three or four times in one nesting season! The nesting season is from May through August, and hatching season lasts until end of October. Florida has most of the loggerheads in United States.

During hatching season volunteers check the beach in the early morning hours for turtle tracks, and when they find tracks (mama turtle can weigh about 350 pounds pregnant!) and identify a nest, they cover the area with stakes and tape, sometimes with a cage as well.

Loggerhead turtles are an endangered species and protected under Florida Law. One estimate is one in every 1000 hatchlings will grow to maturity.

You can read more about loggerhead turtles here and here.

It is very hard to see - I didn't have my camera, only my cell phone, and this was after sunset, so the photos didn't turn out very clear.

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Here they go! Bon Voyage, little loggerheads! We hope you make it to adulthood, and have lots of great adventures:)

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And a huge thank you to all the volunteers for your hard work! Thank you for answering our questions, too:)

This short video clip is quite dark, but if you look carefully you can see at least two hatchlings making it to water. Link here.


Eilen iltakävelyllä Kapteeni ja minä saimme kokea jotain todella ihmeellistä ja ihanaa: vapaaehtoiset pelastivat yksitoista merikilpikonnavauvaa hiekkaisesta pesästään, ja päästivät vapaaksi mereen. He olivat pitäneet silmällä tätä pesää, ja kun yli kaksi kuukautta oli kulunut, ja selvästi näki, että pesä oli kastunut ainakin kahteen otteeseen, he eilen päättivät kaivaa pesän auki. Suurin osa kilpikonnan munista eivät olleet kehittyneet, mutta yksitoista selvisi! Oli ihan uskomaton nähdä nämä pikkiriikkiset otukset, ja heidän polkunsa mereen ja vapauteen. Hyvää matkaa pikkuiset!


  1. Voi minka ihanan tapahtuman paasitte nakemaan. :) Olisinpa minakin ollut paikalla!

  2. Oli kyllä mahtava kokemus! Kiitos kommenteista, Jutta ja Ina<3