t’s been a good week for sea turtles in Thailand, particularly in the southern province of Phang Nga. Not only did 78 baby leatherback sea turtles successfully hatch, but a green sea turtle laid 96 eggs this week.
In a positive sign for conservation efforts in Thailand, dozens of baby sea turtles have hatched and made their way to the sea. According to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), a mother leatherback sea turtle laid eggs on Bang Kwan Beach two months ago on January 16, along with similar nests found earlier that week. The beach is in the Kok Kloi sub-district of Takua Thung district
This week was hatching week as 78 baby leatherback sea turtles clawed their way out of their eggs and headed back to their ocean home. Unfortunately, 23 eggs did not hatch and 13 baby turtles died shortly after hatching, before making their way to the open seas.
At the same time, a green sea turtle laid 96 eggs on Tachai Island in the Tai Mueang district. The island is part of Similan National Park, also in Phang Nga province. The DMCR discovered the nest by following clues that a sea turtle mother was on the island.
Due to concerns about potential damage from weather conditions, the DMCR moved the green sea turtle eggs to a safer area nearby. These eggs are expected to hatch in about two months, and the DMCR is monitoring the nest closely to ensure their safety.
Both leatherback sea turtles and green sea turtles are endangered species that face various threats, including habitat loss, pollution, and human activities like fishing.
Thailand has a history of monitoring and protecting sea turtle nests to give the eggs the best chance for the most hatches and the most baby sea turtles making it back to the sea and surviving in the wild. Local sea turtles have increased in recent years, especially with human interference greatly reduced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings is thought to make it to adulthood. Without guidance, many hatchlings die from dehydration because they don’t make it to the ocean fast enough.
In Thailand, park rangers play a crucial role in protecting sea turtle eggs and hatchlings. Rangers often move eggs they find to safer spots and help to safely guide hatchlings into the sea.
By taking measures to protect and conserve these species, it is hoped that both leatherback sea turtles and green sea turtles will continue to thrive in the ocean and be a part of our ecosystem for generations to come