Sea Turtle Nesting Time
The Treasure Beach Turtle Group and the Treasure Beach Destination Management Organisation would like to remind you we are coming into the sea turtle nesting season of June 1 - November 30!
We are asking all of you who have an establishment located directly on the beach to help us help the Hawksbill turtles by changing any bright lights that shine onto or near the sea to either a yellow or red light bulb. The following is an excerpt from the attached information sheet explaining why dimming your lights is so important to the survival of the sea turtle. The attached sheet will also give you examples of "sea turtle friendly" lights.
"Nesting sea turtles once had no trouble finding a quiet, dark beach on which to nest; now they must compete with tourists, businesses and coastal residents for sandy beaches. U.S. beaches, popular with humans and turtles alike, are lined with condominiums, private residences, businesses and hotels. Lights from these developments can be problematic for nesting females and hatchlings. The lights can discourage females from coming ashore to nest. If a female fails to nest after multiple attempts, she will often resort to a less-than-optimal nesting spot resulting in few, if any, hatchlings surviving from the nest.
"Beachfront lighting can also cause sea turtle hatchlings to become disoriented and wander away from the ocean towards the brightest lights. Hatchlings that head toward artificial lights often die from dehydration, exhaustion, terrestrial predation and passing cars."
Just as bright lights can deter, harm, and kill both nestings and hatchings the same will happen from a beach bonfire. The bonfire will discourage females from coming ashore to nest the same way bright lights will and the hatchlings will wander right into the bonfire and will literally fry. We were witness to this a few years ago when on our morning walk to record any hatchings or nestings we found the remnants of a bonfire on the beach and several hatchlings fried in the ashes. It was heartbreaking to see.
Last year we recorded 113 nestings in the Black Springs/Billy's Bay area which is up from 75 last year. However, sea turtle nesting has been reported from Back Seaside, Great Bay, Old Wharf, Calabash Bay, Frenchman's Bay, Billy's Bay and Ft. Charles. Right now we only have funding to report the number of nestings and hatchings in a small designated area.
The Treasure Beach Turtle Group is currently working on their own website and on a promotion allowing all stakeholders to become Turtle Watch members of the Turtle Watch group! We'll keep you posted!!
In the meantime if you have any questions or want to set up a tour please contact Camar at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are now the second largest sea turtle nesting area in Jamaica, however we are confident that with more monitoring we would become #1! So in summary, let us all join forces to save the Hawksbill sea turtles and preserve their natural environment. After all we are the Home of Community Tourism and our sea turtles have been a part of this community for literally millions of years predating dinosaurs.