Loggerhead turtles come back to theReef

Loggerheads have returned to theReef Resort in East End.  

Yellow tape and colourful signs can again be seen on the white sandy beach protecting the first of what is expected to be several turtle nests of the season. 

The site was spotted by a member of theReef concierge in May and a Department of Environment officer was immediately called out to East End in Grand Cayman for confirmation.  

The barriers are placed around the nest to protect the hatchlings and have become a great way for theReef to educate guests about the endangered sea turtles. Guests flock to the sites to take pictures and are always asking questions about the nests, eggs and hatchlings.  

“The turtle has been an integral part of Caymanian history. Every year, our team at the Reef is dedicated to protecting the sea turtle nests, so we can help increase the number of these magnificent creatures swimming around in the waters of Grand Cayman,” said Paul Robinson, marketing director. “Our team does all they can to make sure as many of the tiny hatchlings as possible get safely into the sea. The effort is ongoing until the last nest hatches.”  

 

Moon lights the way 

Not only is everything possible done to ensure the nest and eggs are undisturbed, said Mr. Robinson, but extra precautions are also taken to protect the babies. Staff and guests are notified 48 hours before a nest is expected to hatch. Since the baby turtles use the light of the moon to guide them to the water, guests are asked to keep their patio/balcony lights off so the hatchlings don’t mistake the light for the moon and head in the wrong direction. 

Last year, a group of babies just couldn’t wait until dark and decided to make a rare appearance during the daylight much to the delight of everyone. Staff members gathered the little ones in a bucket with wet sand and put them in a safe location until dusk when they were set free giving them a better chance of survival from predators.  

The resort hosted four Loggerhead turtle nests last year. 

turtle hatchlings

Hatchlings at theReef resort in 2011. – Photo: Submitted
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