If you have read this blog for more than a year, you may remember our trip report from working with Earthwatch to Save the Leatherback Turtle. In May of last year we joined an Earthwatch expedition to St Croix to work with the endangered Leatherback Turtles. You can read the whole report at the link above.
We recently received a message from one of the researchers that they had a large number of nesting turtles this year on the Sandy Point beach in St. Croix. Much larger than recent years. This is excellent news for the Leatherbacks and speaks to the success of the WIMARCS recovery program in St. Croix. Of course it is too early for me to take any credit as the turtles hatched last year will not reach maturity, and thus return to the beach for nesting, for another 6-9 years. Regardless, the program itself is a success. It is possible that the St Croix Leatherback population would be extinct without it. It certainly would not be on an upswing.
I still remember laying in the sand in the middle of the night, catching the turtle eggs with new each contraction of the giant animal, working to relocate them to a safer nest. It is an experience beyond belief that I will remember for the rest of my life. I wish each and every turtle on the beach and the species as a whole the best of luck. They will need it to survive. They also need our help.