Bright as Day–Leatherback Turtle Nesting

This is a rare occasion–just 2 days ago in Vieques, Puerto Rico, an endangered leatherback turtle was ashore laying her eggs in the daylight. This is pretty much an exclusively nocturnal activity, so even though conservationists have intervened, protected, and helped the struggling species for years…it is activity done by flashlight. This giant gal, it is supposed, was trying to get ashore to her nesting spot overnight but couldn’t make it. It is a fascinating sight as she flips sand back to cover her freshly laid eggs (and just as quickly, volunteers dig them back up to protect them and take them to a safer location for their gestation).

Turtle conservation is a popular volunteer opportunity, especially in Latin American equatorial regions, where several species nest. Many resorts in the Caribbean and mainland regions nearby have programs for guests to go out at night during egg laying, to help protect the eggs from natural and unnatural predators and threats, and also when the babies hatch and struggle across expanses of sand to make it to the (relative) safety of the surf. If you are vacationing this Spring Break (or springtime in general), check to see if the property where you are staying has volunteer opportunities–with turtles or any other options. Many hospitality businesses are rolling out guest opportunities to give back to the communities we visit. Just ask at the front desk, or the concierge, and turn your vacation into a voluntour.

One response to this post.

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