Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Hotel Updates: Bird Island

Sea Turtle Season

When it comes to sea turtles, Bird Island has recorded some great numbers this season; from turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs to successful nests hatched, turtle lovers will be happy to read this update.

Hawksbill Turtles

Our first nest was early in September letting us know that females were preparing themselves to start the season. There was some activity in October with a count of 19 nests by the end of the month but peak activity was in November and December (81 and 110 nests counted respectively) reaching over 200 nests. By January, 47 nests were recorded indicting a fall in the numbers of turtles coming ashore to lay.  By February even fewer nests were being recorded and it can now be said that the main Hawksbill season is practically over.

Green Turtles

For the Green turtles it has definitely been a great year. Never before had we recorded so many nests or so much activity on our beaches. For this season, 169 nests have been recorded to date. Peak activity was recorded in September with 32 nests counted and the numbers dropped in October with 17 nests counted. The number of nest per month however,  have not been decreasing since then but have been stabilizing with an average of 18 nests per month over these past 3 months. 

Heaven for Sea Turtles

On each of her morning walks our Conservation Officer, Joana, encountered at least one nest where hatchlings had emerged, indicated by the several baby tracks leading away from the nest.  

"Our nests are all in nature where there’s plenty of space and the conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.) are all natural, allowing the eggs develop the way they were meant to. So although it may be harder to actually see the 'newborns', if you're lucky enough to come across them, it’s a magical moment!" - Joana Soares, Bird Island Conservation Officer.

Bird Island may be known mainly for the many birds that call this island home or their ‘port of call’ when on their yearly migratory trips but the island is also a haven for sea turtles. Being far from the mainland and with there being very little human activity, the island is an ideal spot for turtles to nest. The owners have played an active role in keeping Bird Island a simple eco-lodge where nature reigns and hope to continue doing so in the years to come.