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Guidelines : Encountering Nesting Turtles

Guidelines : Encountering Nesting Turtles, Roatan Marine Park

The beauty of stumbling upon sea turtles during their nesting season on a moonlit beach is a rare and enchanting experience. However, it comes with responsibilities. In this article, we'll explore simple guidelines for those fortunate enough to encounter these majestic creatures, both during the nesting process and when coming across adorable hatchlings.

Check out the following guidelines that you should follow when encountering nesting sea turtles:

Avoid Bright Lights:

Refrain from walking with flashlights or shining bright lights on nesting turtles. Such illumination may disrupt the nesting process or discourage other nearby turtles.

No Flash Photography:

Steer clear of using flash photography, as the intense light can be more disruptive than flashlights, potentially disturbing the turtles.

Maintain a Safe Distance:

Please stay away from the turtle's field of vision until it begins laying eggs to avoid causing stress or prompting the turtle to return to the sea.

Mind the Head:

Keep a safe distance from the turtle's head for your safety and the turtle's well-being. Some species, especially loggerheads, possess powerful jaws that can cause harm if provoked.

Hands Off the Eggs:

Resist the urge to touch the eggs or introduce foreign objects into the nest, which can introduce bacteria and harm the developing eggs.

No Touching or Riding:

It's both illegal and potentially harmful to touch or ride the turtle. Interfering with the nesting process may lead to incomplete nesting or other negative consequences.

Respect Turtle Tracks:

Once the turtles have departed, refrain from disturbing their tracks. Researchers often use these tracks to identify the turtle species and locate and mark the nests.

Enjoy the Experience:

Cherish this unique encounter and carry the memory with you. By following these guidelines, you contribute to the conservation and well-being of these incredible creatures.

Encountering Hatchlings:

Hands-Off Approach:

Please do not pick up hatchlings with your bare hands, as this can disrupt their sense of smell and potentially transmit bacteria or diseases. Use gloves or thoroughly wash your hands before handling them.

Natural Journey to the Sea:

Resist placing hatchlings directly into the water. Allow them to navigate their way to the sea independently, recognizing the terrain, scents, and surroundings crucial for their survival.

Gentle Handling:

If necessary, handle hatchlings carefully, avoiding excessive force to prevent injury.

Timely Release:

Attempt to release the hatchlings as soon as possible after they emerge. Delayed release can lead to fatigue from constant swimming.

Avoid Water Containers:

Refrain from placing hatchlings in containers with water, as continuous swimming can tire them out and reduce their chances of survival.

Encounters with nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings are magical moments that require responsible and informed actions. By adhering to these guidelines, we can ensure the safety and well-being of these incredible creatures, contributing to their conservation for generations to come.

If you come across sea turtles or hatchlings, contact us at 9447-0798.

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