Sea turtles around the world nest on beaches in warm places in the tropics like our base of operations- Tom Owens Caye in Belize. The female goes ashore, digs a body pit then and a nest (or egg chamber), lays the eggs, and finally covers up the nest. After that, they will camouflage the nest, covering a big area with sand, to hide the nest, and then head to the water. About six or seven weeks later, the hatchlings will emerge and then head to the water.
This May and June our Hawksbill Sea Turtles returned to lay their eggs on our island. Volunteers have been hard at work loosening compacted sand to enable the sea turtles to dig their nests and deposit eggs. Once eggs are laid and covered, our volunteers and staff rope off nesting sites on the island to ensure the eggs hatch safely.
Ten to fifty years after hatching (depending on the species), sea turtles reach sexual maturity and are able to mate. Once they reach sexual maturity they will migrate to beaches around the world to nest. Only females will come ashore to lay eggs, generally on the same beach or island they were born on!
Thanks to all our volunteers this season that have made a difference!! Who doesn’t love sea turtles1?!?!?!