Monday, June 9, 2008

Turtle Beach

We went by Turtle Beach while Jimmy was here. There was one turtle on the sand and this is a cool picture I got of him/her.
Another visit more recently, I learned that the scientists/volunteers that make sure the turtles are not disturbed by the tourists actually name the turtles that lay on the beach. They have 24 turtles that are named so far. A turtle has to come up on the beach 5 times in order to get named. If they don't ever come up on the beach, then they don't get named. There was a turtle in the water when we went and it had a tumor over it's eye. It's something similar to the HPV in humans and is easily passed from turtle to turtle. She only came up so far to the beach, then would turn around and go back a little deeper. The volunteer that was there said that they had seen her at this beach for a year and a half and she has never come up on the beach. They have no idea why.
We also learned that before the turtles were on the protected list (one step from the endangered list), hotels used to serve turtle soup and meat to their customers. They would come to this particular beach and find turtles, put them on their backs on the beach (so they wouldn't get away) and go out for another one. They would capture and kill about 30 turtles a day using this technique. Turtles only nest at the same place they were born. There used to be nesting spots on the 5 major islands of Hawaii. However, there are no longer any nesting spots...that means that the entire population of turtles that were born in Hawaii has been killed.

No comments: