A Lifetime at Sea
Life Cycle of Sea Turtles
The protection of sea turtles and their nesting and foraging habitats needs to be a long-term commitment and requires continuous efforts and support to be effective. We need to understand the long phases of their life cycle:
hatchlings that enter the sea today reach sexual maturity in ten to fifteen years depending on species. This is the time when they will return to the vicinity of their home beach for mating and nesting - to start the next generation's life cycle.
On several occasions we were fortunate to observe and document a pair of mating Green Turtles very close to shore. Undisturbed by a nearby fishing boat, they went about their business - drifting along just a few meters from shore, making it easy for us to follow their path until darkness settled in.
A Mating Pair of Green Turtles
This pair is drifting along Munting Buhangin in close proximity to the shore.
The observation of a nesting sea turtle is an amazing and unforgettable experience. Usually, the females come ashore at night under the protection of darkness. This makes it rather difficult to document the procedure in pictures and videos because the sea turtle should not be disturbed by bright light sources such as camera flashes - she may abandon her nesting attempt and return to the sea.
There are exceptions to the "nesting-at-night" rule:
evident by the number of tracks, this female Green Turtle spent several hours searching for a suitable nesting place. Finally the egg deposit happened during early morning hours in sufficient natural light.
Hatching, Emergence and Release
By May 2021, we will have monitored about 80 nests, handled over 7,300 eggs and released close to 5,500 sea turtle babies from three different species and still - each hatching event is different from the next.
Click on the picture below to learn more about the procedure of hatching, emergence and release of pawikan babies.