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Hawksbill Turtles at Club St. Croix, St. Croix USVI

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Uploaded on Oct 16, 2009

We did our best to help 70-100 Hawksbill hatchlings on their journey to the ocean. Unfortunately, the bright security lights of the complex where we live were leading them in the opposite way of the ocean. They were found some 30 feet away from the beach, in the grass, headed towards our porch. When they hatch, they instinctively follow the brightest light in the sky, which is supposed to be the moon and stars.... not security lights from our complex!

We attempted to simulate moonlight by using flashlights. We had two people standing in the ocean with flashlights the hatchlings. One at the entry
point on the beach and another some 20 ft out in the ocean.

It was cloudy and the lights where we live are very bright. Apparently, beach lighting is a big contributing problem to the decline in sea turtle populations. ughhhh

They have been listed as Endangered for 39 years! "The hawksbill turtle was listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as endangered in 1970."
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/t...

Handling endangered species is a very sensitive issue and in most cases against the law. If you experience an event similar to this, it is best to contact your local governmental environmental agency.

Although the flashlights seemed to work, shining flashlights into the ocean also can attract fish that will eat the hatchlings, among other things.

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