Thursday, September 1, 2011

Race to save the nests in Lacacão beach

The last week has seen an increase in ocean swell, causing the innundation most of the beaches in Boavista.

Lacacão beach is notorious and well known for its total innundation several times a year. When this occurs during the middle of the nesting season, it can cause caos and destruction on the nesting beach. Many nests get either washed away, or fully innundated, causing the death of the embryos. To our dismay, the sea this week started eating away the beach, with 3-4m waves getting dangerously close to our hatchery and surrounding area, where we have at least 50% of the nests relocated.

This year, given the potential impact of the lights of the hotel, and increased traffic of both people and quads on the beach, Turtle Foundation embarked on an intense nest relocation program, trying to save as many nests as possible from threats such as light, compaction and inundation.

The results have been great. Most of the nests were saved from the stormy sea, two have already hatched with more than 80% success rate! But many were innundated, and damage to the nests is yet to be assessed. However, the excavation of some of the nests affected by the waves revealed very high hatching success rate, and we are pleased to see that those nests due to hatch were little affected. In any case, it was 3 very stressful days of digging ditches, and monitoring the water table rise and the incoming tides.

Well done to all the Lacacão team, for all the work saving these nests!

1 comment:

  1. Great news you were able to do so much. I saw that every day brought new challenges (the sea, the weather, the dog, the crabs!). We were lucky enough to spend an evening with you on turtle patrol, seeing hatchlings come out of the nest (whilst trying to protect them from crabs), releasing them into the sea and then seeing a turtle laying eggs in a new nest. Unforgettable and your work is incredible, tireless and selfless. We were very grateful to be able to spend the evening with you and to have a glimpse of the work you do. It is so important I hope you continue to get the support you need. Anna


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