Tuesday, November 6, 2012

03/11/12 The Turtle from the Snurtle

O.K! Time for a little turtle information. When we talk turtle, we are talking Hawksbill and Green. Mostly we survey – with loads of hope – the Hawksbill, as they are day nest and layers. We do survey the Greens, but as they nest at night, we don’t actually hold much hope of actually seeing them nest or lay.  We have witnessed the female Hawksbill expend her precious energy, sometimes up to 4 times, coming up the beach looking for somewhere to nest, getting stopped by obstructions and tree roots and sometimes, seemingly, just changing her mind. It can be painful, at times, to watch them put in so much effort, dragging themselves up the beach, digging, digging somewhere else, then somewhere else, only to return to the ocean having not yet laid their eggs. Hence, we are extremely happy when we find or witness an actual nest.
All this said, it has been a cracking week for turtle action. Thursday saw a successful lay from beginning to end by most of the volunteers. There are new nests on all of Curieuse’ nesting beaches. Also, on the Monday snurtle (turtle spotting snorkel), 3 turtles were spotted. 1 large female Hawksbill, a smaller and friendly male and the other was big, but too quick to spot the specifics.
Coco de Mer surveying is going great guns with over 70 trees surveyed in the past week. To quote one of our new volunteers, ’It’s a very warm walk to the top, no breeze, but the view of the Indian Ocean makes it all worthwhile. It’s hard labour but extremely rewarding. I felt really good work was done with the best view in the world’.
The Mangrove surveying is complete for 5 transects and now we have commenced the task of salinity testing. This is no small feat as we are doing salinity tests at 40cm depth into the substraight. Challenging work!
The other good news is that there are now 4 new baby Tortoises on Curieuse. All found near the rangers station and being lovingly cared for by the head ranger, Joseph – who also claims that they are all budding footballers – Ahh, quite the proud parent
We have had quite a bit of rain over the past week. The upsides being; perfect nesting weather for turtles and some amazing sunsets for all.
Loving life on Curieuse!!