At the hatchery

We are at the hatchery in Ponta Pesquero where Lia is explaining a little bit more about our work with sea turtles!

Unfortunately, the hurricane changed the profile of the beach and there was a lot of sand in the hatchery which had to be dug out to allow hatchlings to emerge to the surface. It was a lot of hard work!

Needless to say, nobody knew exactly how it would affect hatching survival.We built the hatchery to protect turtle eggs from human factors. In the neighboring beach there is a big hotel and to minimize the disturbance and fatality to young hatchlings caused by tourist (and tourism) eggs had to be relocated to the hatchery so they would have a higher chance of survival. Ideally, eggs should be relocated as soon as possible as they are less susceptible to a movement. After 6+ hours of being in the nest one has to be very careful when relocating them as jostling and rotating could kill the embryo.We had to carry them (sometimes 150 eggs!) in a shoulder bag which was quite a challenge in a soft sand! Then we replicated measurements of a 'real' nest and dug a 'surrogate' one for the egg. Afterwards, the only thing we had to do was to wait approximately 55 days for them to hatch. Meanwhile, we had to fight ghost crabs that tried to get to the hatchery and eat the eggs.....An interesting job, indeed!