It’s been an exciting week on Long Caye at Glover’s Atoll. We have many sea turtles that nest on the island and recently we’ve had a new cache of Hawksbill Turtle hatchlings come to life.
We’re thrilled to be able to share with you the first photos of these sweet little turtles. Hawksbill Turtles live their life in the sea, but they return to our sandy beaches to lay their ‘eggs during particular months of the year, like now.
Like other sea turtles, Hawksbill Turtles are solitary for most of their lives; they meet only to mate. They are highly migratory. Individual turtles do not lay eggs every year; there is usually an interval of 1 or more years between nestings. Mating between the male and female takes place in the water off of our nesting beaches; little is known about the rituals of this process but we encounter it in our kayaks every now and again. Females then come onto land for the nesting process, an event that requires incredible exertion. She will lay up to 100 eggs or more that will incubate for 60 days before the little hatchlings emerge and make the treacherous trip down the beach and to the sea. Hawksbill turtles primarily feed on sponges found on reefs. They feed on only a select number of species of sponges. Both the turtle nests and the young turtles are highly susceptible to the environment and predators like sharks, crocodiles, octopuses, and some species of pelagic fish and these little turtles have quite a journey ahead of them.
Turtles are thought of as very lucky and they also symbolize strength, longevity and hope. They are symbolic of a steadfast tranquility – safe in the knowledge that they can survive during bad times until things improve for the better. They are both a source of joy and good reminder to us all!