Turtle Laying Season in Panama

The turtle season is in full swing. Almost every day, turtles arrive at the beach of Malena to lay eggs and almost every day there are turtle hatchlings to be released. Five species of turtles lay their eggs at Malena beach: Olive Ridley, Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and leatherbacks. The Olive Ridley is the most common turtle on Malena beach.

Olive Ridley laying eggs

The Malena community has set up an association to protect the turtles that breed on their beach. Every day, or rather, every night and early morning, volunteers patrol the beach to check for turtle nests. The nests they find are dug out and the eggs are reburied in a turtle hatchery, where dogs, cats and poachers can not get at them. In this way, the people of Malena prevent virtually all egg mortality and generally some 90% of the eggs hatch.

Digging up recently laid turtle eggs

... And reburying them in the hatchery

When the small turtles hatch, they are released on the beach and accompanied until the water edge, preventing mortality from cats, dogs, ghost crabs and raccoons. But when they enter the water, the turtles are on their own.

Together with some guests we went on a very early patrol with the Malena communioty turtle patrol and were lucky enough to see a female Olive Ridley turtle come on the beach to lay eggs. On another day, we went to help release the turtle hatchlings, also in the early morning. This takes less luck, since the laying date of each nest is noted and we know that it takes 48-50 days for the eggs to hatch.

Last year the Malena turtle protection association released nearly 20,000 young turtles and it looks like they will release a similar number this year.

About keesgroenendijk

We are the owners of hotel Heliconia and Tanager tourism, two companies dedicated to Eco-tourism. We are located in Panama, on the west coast of the Azuero peninsula, close to Coiba Island and Cerro Hoya National Park. We provide accomodation and organise tours to Cerro Hoya, Coiba and other destinations.
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3 Responses to Turtle Laying Season in Panama

  1. Glaswerk says:

    @MO: Welaan, eindelijk weer teruggevonden.

    Dat zit hier maar in alle stilte te publiceren.
    Van koningshuis en god los gezongen, zou ik bijna zeggen… ;-P

  2. Welkom op mijn blog, meneer Glaswerk. . Ik heb het blog nog niet helemaal op orde (hoe kun je *&%^ links naar andere blogs in je rechterkolom krijgen? ), dus ik houd het nog wat stil. Maar ja, hoe gaat dat op het internet, je kunt niet vluchten en je kunt je niet verstoppen.

    Voor blogs over god, vaderland en koningshuis heb ik een blog gereserveerd, maar dat is nog steeds leeg. Ik heb het effe te druk om me met dat soort triviale zaken bezig te houden 😉

  3. Pingback: Western Azuero: Playa Malena | panamaseaturtles

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