Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Turtle Week: Day Five

Gearing up for the Reef Clean
It’s hard to believe that it is already day five of Turtle Week! The time has flown by with a flurry of activities. Once again we had a team of beach and reef cleaners out in full force yesterday. Everyone involved put in a phenomenal effort, and we collected many bags of plastic, food wrappers, bottles and even discarded clothes! This work is integral to Turtle conservation, and over the next few days we will be working with children again, educating them in the importance of what we are doing, and what they can do to help.

Settling down and watching 'Turtle: An Incredible Journey'
It was a peaceful evening in the resort, as everybody settled down in the bar to watch the documentary 'Turtle: The Incredible Journey'. This fascinating short film follows the almost unbelievable journey of a loggerhead turtle, from when she first hatches on a beach in Florida, to over 20 years later when she lays her first nest – on the same beach that she was born. It follows her as she travels from the Gulf Stream and ultimately around the entire North Atlantic to Africa, only to return many years later to the Florida beach where she was born. The imagery is absolutely stunning, and the audience were treated to some beautiful shots of an array of marine life. From Humpback whales, to Blue Sharks, to dolphins, to Sperm Whales, the footage is truly amazing. The film shows the tiny loggerhead hatchling clinging to a raft of sargassum weed that sits at the surface. This provides a protected area for the turtle to sleep, eat and gain strength. The sargassum weed follows the Gulf Stream. This is a journey that many loggerhead turtles will take. Of course, as with any journey there are obstacles to face. The raft of sargassum is taken off it’s course, and the hatchling ends up in the stagnant Sargasso sea. With no winds, and no tides, the turtle is stuck. She feeds and grows stronger, and after gaining enough strength eventually returns to her path to the Gulf Stream. The story continues, and we see that other obstacles that young turtles face are not all natural. From choking on oil that has been spilled into the ocean, to being caught on longlines, the journey this turtle undertakes, along with all others, is a treacherous one. The ending of this tale was a happy one, with her successfully returning to her beach to lay nests. But it is important that people understand that this is not always the case; just one in one thousand hatchlings are expected to survive. The documentary opened many people’s eyes to the threats turtles face, and the dangers that we have created for these beautiful and graceful creatures.

With just two days left, we have almost reached our goal of 7000RM! We are on the final stretch, and every little counts. Please take a look at our Just Giving page, and read about the sponsored 5 hour underwater clean we will be doing. Every little counts, even just a dollar, a pound, or a euro would be greatly appreciated.

Facts about Loggerhead Turtles:
  • The loggerhead is one of the most widespread of all the marine turtles and also the most highly migratory, with individuals known to cross the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
  • This turtle's common name comes from its relatively large head, which contains powerful jaws
  • Adults are primarily carnivorous, using their powerful jaws to crack open crustaceans such as crabs and even seemingly impenetrable molluscs such as the queen conch
  • Nesting occurs in more temperate regions than for other sea turtle species and the largest breeding population is currently found in the southeastern United States from North Carolina throughout Florida
  • Classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List

No comments:

Post a Comment