Monday morning, Adriana and Sandy, two of our volunteers, excavated our first Leatherback nest that was laid on 4/8. This was the nest that we watched 52 hatchlings rush to the ocean on Friday morning, 6/21. After the mandatory 72 hour wait period, the final count was as follows:
I was surprised at the high number of hatched eggs. Leatherbacks have an average clutch size from 60-80 eggs. But as I tell my Volunteers, once you think you know everything about the "norm", nature will throw you a curve ball and leave you standing there in astonishment.
This Leatherback sea turtle was named "Pumpkin" by Christy back in 2010, when she was part of the night time leatherback study being conducted through the Juno Marinelife Center. Christy is now back with our group helping me with the morning surveys. We found out about Pumpkin nesting on our beach back in April by one of the night time surveyors from this study.
Today, my volunteer trainee group watched as Tyler and I excavated our second leatherback nest that was laid on 4/10. Here is the final count:
Another successful hatch for this critically endangered sea turtle.
On Thursday, 6/27 our first loggerhead nest of the season hatched. It was laid on April 25. We will get a hatchling success count on that nest on Sunday.