Dear nest adopters,
First of all, thank you so much for your support for the work that we do to protect Bonaire’s sea turtles!
As the year is coming to an end, we’re looking back on a very successful nesting season. And… it’s actually still ongoing! Just last week, we confirmed two new hawksbill nests on Klein Bonaire. We have confirmed 55 nests on Klein, 22 nests on Playa Chikitu & Washikemba and 27 nests in the south of Bonaire.
36 of the nests laid in 2022 were adopted by you, companies and individuals based on Bonaire, in the US and in Europe. Thank you! Most of these nests were really successful with high hatching rates, we saw nests with hatching rates as high as 99 per cent! We did also have a few nests that were less successful. On Klein Bonaire, for example, we encountered five nests that only contained unfertilized eggs and two nests were washed away due to high tides.
Because of the storms and heavy rains of the last few months, we decided to incubate three nests that were at risk of drowning. We collected these eggs after about 40 days of incubation and put them in a ‘hatchery’ (a large bucket, mimicking the natural nest environment) and were really excited when the eggs started to crack and baby turtles appeared… (photo attached) These hatchlings were released just a few days after hatching, when they were active and ready to start their adventure.
The 2022 nesting season was also the first season where we decided to relocate all nests laid on Te Amo beach. Nests laid on this beach often suffer from the many visitors, parties, light pollution and trash, causing low hatching rates. In the past, we used barriers and cages to protect these nests, but this meant that hatchlings would use some of the energy that they need for their first days in the ocean right after hatching, moving up and down the cage or on the car or boat ride to a safe release location. By moving these nests to a safer location shortly after they are laid, the hatchlings are able to make their way to the ocean right after emerging from their nest.
We’d like to thank you for your continuous support. Thanks to your help, we can protect Bonaire’s nesting sea turtle populations and the hatchlings that are born on our beaches.
We wish you all very happy holidays, and we hope to see you again in 2023!