October 24

Turtle Hatchlings in Australia

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One of my wishes in life, and high up on my “bucket list”. is to go on a long vacation to Australia, and to view all the magic that can be experienced in the land “down under”. Golden beaches, coral reefs, wondrous caves, majestic mountains, a vibrant nightlife and lots of sun and fun are some of the delights I can’t wait to encounter.

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings caretta caretta

 

I can just see myself chilling on a comfortable chair on Bondi Beach with a Pina colada in my hand, while I admire the ocean, beautiful bodies, and prepare for holiday fun as I download Euro Palace casino onto my iPad.

 

Australia is also renowned for its captivating wildlife, with unique species constituting 80% of the country’s 378 mammals, 773 of 869 reptiles, and almost half of the more than 800 birds. I’m super excited at the prospect of discovering all the exotic animals that are indigenous to Australia, such as koala bears, kangaroos and wallabies.

 

An event I’m particularly looking forward to is witnessing turtle hatchlings scrambling to the sea. Every year between November and February, sexually mature sea turtles nest along the south Queensland coast and some of its islands, laying about 100 eggs per clutch. Eight weeks later, and voila, the tiny hatchlings emerge from their shells and race into the sea.

This phenomenon truly is a fitting testament to the wonder of the nature. However, I know that luck will have to be on my side if I’m to come across a hatchling, as there is no guarantee that I’ll actually get to view turtle hatchlings when in Australia. I plan to increase my chances of success by

travelling to nestling sites such as Lady Elliot Island, Heron island, and Mon Repos Conservation Park, which is home to the most significant nesting population of endangered loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific Ocean.

 

In all three locations, staff can provide me with turtle watching guidelines, such as not to disorient the hatchlings by using artificial light. Another possibility is to join conservation volunteers that monitor flatback turtles at Eco beach in Western Australia.

 

Why do I have this interest in watching this event unfold? Well, my reasons are two-fold. I’ve always been a person who has marvelled at the wonder of nature, and longed to see marquee natural events live. My fascination in turtles was also piqued by the first incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the early 90s, as I was truly one of their biggest fans, and one of the first kids who went to see the original Turtles movie in 1990.

 

More about sea turtles

There are seven species of sea turtles, and four of these species have been identified as either endangered or critically endangered, while another two have been classified as vulnerable. Their threatened status is a worrying fact, and leads me to believe that the prospect of seeing these magnificent creatures being born live would be an even more poignant moment. Here’s holding thumbs it happens for me; I can’t wait.


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