La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

Record number of Sea Turtle nesting in 2012

Tortue imbriquée cherchant à nidifier en haut de plage à baie aux Prunes
Tortue imbriquée cherchant à nidifier en haut de plage à baie aux Prunes

The end of December 2012, was report writing time for Julien Chalifour, who is in charge of the local branch of the sea turtle network.

Figures:

529 patrols took place on ten designated beaches and
185 tracks of turtles crawling up onto the beaches were identified by the fifty eco-volunteers,
of which 107 were fresh tracks.
58% Of these tracks resulted in the laying of eggs, mainly by Green turtles and especially on the beaches of Baie Longue and Baie aux Prune.

These figures, which are significantly higher than those of 2011, could perhaps be explained by the fact that the turtles were observed in a completely empirical way and it has been deduced that the nesting cycle of Green turtles normally experiences a peak every two years.
These Green turtles managed to lay eggs on 65% of their ascents up the beach, whilst the Hawksbill turtles only managed to lay on 55% of their exits from the water.
This difference could be due to the specificities of the two species;
Green turtles do not mount as high up onto the beach as the Hawksbill and therefore come across fewer obstacles before they dig their nests.

The Reserve notes, however, a slight decline in the Green turtles nesting and raises again the issue of beaches lit at night and loud music, which frighten these creatures away.

A turtle knocking at the gateTortue imbriquée

On september 4th, 2012 at 11 o’clock in the morning, a couple of bathers called the Reserve to report that a hawksbill turtle was trying to dig her nest, but kept coming up against the fence and the gate of a villa that had been built very close to the sea. Julien chalifour arrived on the scene and found that this was indeed the case; the poor animal was turning around and around in circles and then in vain it finally returned to the sea after an hour and a half of fruitless efforts.
The next day, some distance from the villa, an eco-volunteer discovered nesting tracks and a nest, we hope that they belonged to the same turtle.
The Reserve took the opportunity to thank all eco-volunteers and all walkers who call-in to report the presence of turtles. the 2013 campaign will begin soon. an information session will be held for eco-volunteers in february.

 

All articles from: Newsletter-17

Better Knowledge About Protected Areas And Protected Species

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