Cayman’s nesting season for its turtle populations appears to be ever-growing, in terms of numbers of nests and also for the amount of time environmentalists are seeing turtles nesting. The Department of Environment noted that the 2022 sea turtle nesting season was not only the year with the most nests ever recorded, it was the longest on record. The incredibly long nesting period, which took place over 11 months, ended with the final nest only just hatching on 22 February of this year, a hawksbill nest in Little Cayman. This particular nest had a very long incubation time of 75 days due to the cooler winter temperatures.
In addition to this late event, nesting also started earlier than usual on 31st March 2022, making the total length of the season almost 11 months. The six hawksbill nests of the season had a very successful average hatching rate of 86% and in total 556 endangered hawksbill hatchlings made it to the sea.
The Department of the Environment had a team of Little Cayman volunteers who championed the cause of the nesting on that island, who included Jennifer Gough, Chris Gough and Dave Boccuti who watched over the hawksbill nests late in the season, and Tamara Doyle and Christina Chapman who hosted a public excavation of the last nest where 48 people came out to learn about sea turtles.
The 2023 nesting season will be starting soon and the DoE says that people should consider turtle friendly lighting if they live on the beach front to help conserve Cayman's wild sea turtles. Anyone interested in finding out more about Cayman’s nesting sea turtles can contact the DoE at email@example.com.
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