Remarkably successful intervention saves over 100 loggerhead turtles.
In February, a nest of 113 endangered loggerhead turtle eggs was discovered on a beach in New South Wales, Australia. Because the eggs were laid late in the season, conservationists worried that the turtles wouldn’t be able to hatch in the cold sand, so they decided to intervene in an effort to save them.
After carefully removing each egg from the cold sand, the team transported the eggs to an incubator containing warm sand and water. Within a few weeks, 107 of the 113 eggs had hatched. “We were so excited when we got the phone call that the hatchlings had come out,” said Turtle Watch project manager, Holly West. “A hatch success rate of 97 percent is an amazing result for an endangered species.”
When the turtles hatched, the team weighed and measured each one of them before returning them back to the site of their nest, where they started making their way to the ocean under the supervision of the turtle experts, reports ABC.
“They’ll spend the next 30 years floating around in the ocean’s currents,” said West. “Sea turtles have been around since the dinosaurs, so they have all these in-built instincts. To see them hit those waves and start swimming… is the best part of it all.”