Huge leatherback sea turtle nests on Guana Bay Beach

POSTED: 05/9/11 1:45 PM

St. Maarten – Last Friday at approximately four o’clock in the afternoon the St. Maarten Nature Foundation was alerted to what was the fifth recorded nesting leatherback sea turtle of the 2011 nesting season. The 6 feet long, approximately 400 pound weighing female crawled up on Guana Bay Beach and returned to the ocean one hour and forty minutes later.

There were several onlookers to witness what has been called one of the most unique events in nature occurring in St. Maarten. Nature Foundation staff took several measurements of the animal, recorded nest location, and took identification pictures. Recorded data will be entered in Nature Foundation Sea Turtle Research Program database and the nest will be monitored on a daily basis. The eggs are expected to hatch within a few months.

Based on article 16 and 17 of the Nature Conservation Ordinance St. Maarten it is illegal to kill, wound, capture, pick-up, possesses, or disturb sea turtles and their nests. It is also forbidden to disturb damage or destroy its nest as well as to pick-up or to destroy the eggs of animals belonging to a protected species.

The Nature Foundation asks that people do not drive on the nesting beaches and that they walk their dog on a leash. To report activity regarding sea turtles, call the Nature Foundation Sea Turtle Hotline on 9229, call the Nature Foundation office at 544 42 67, or email to info@naturerfoundationsxm.org

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