Friday, October 5, 2007

Turtle Nest

It's been 90 days since the turtle nest was found and we never saw any turtles, so today we dug it up because it's past the time that they should have hatched. We didn't know if there'd be anything in there since there's never been a turtle nest recorded on Sand Island. We found 83 hatched eggs and 6 unhatched eggs. Most of the unhatched eggs were unfertilized but 1 had a baby turtle that didn't make it. It looks like they hatched a couple of weeks ago but we didn't see the tracks so it was probably one night when it rained. Very few turtles survive to adulthood, so out of the 83 we'll be lucky to even get one that makes it to breeding age. Lots of turtles hang out here but they usually nest at French Frigate Shoals.
Here's Greg digging for the eggs. They were about 3 ft. deep so the little turtles have a tough time digging their way out.
Here's Barry Christenson counting the hatched eggs.
I just put this picture up since there was turtle news today.


Peggy said...

I'm just pleased that there was only one that didn't make it out of the nest. If you guys missed the turtles, perhaps the predators did too. Hang in there little turtles!

Anonymous said...

Pete,on your picture of the sea wall looking towards the fuel pier you mention that it was to retain the sand. It was put there in the early 50s to allow that area to be expanded by filling in with dredging coral and retain the new area. Originaly that area was under water from a line starting by main pier past the old panam hotel and down to the beach by the clipper house.The area filled in was used to put in the fuel tanks.They also had a Small boat harbor at the foot of the fuel pier until they put in the last fuel tanks in 1957.An interesting picture is the 1935 aerial picture taken before the island buildup. Sand Island about doubled in size with the various buildups from around 600 acres to around 1200 acres which allow you to do a lot more such as Laysan duck projects. Even with the Navy on the Island there was More area for wildlife than on the original island.If you would like pictures send me your Email. Mine is in the notebook "midway 58 to 61" in captains house display. John D