it’s turtle time!

Whether it is a Green turtle, Loggerhead or Hawksbill cruising around the waters during the day or females emerging from the ocean to nest in the dunes at night, the Ningaloo coast is currently abundant with these beautiful reptiles.

swimming turtles

It’s not uncommon for our guests to enjoy an underwater encounter as seen above.

Or to see them from the shore coming up for a breath of fresh air as seen below.

turtle head

 

Turtles began mating at the end of October and are currently still mating. Once the female has been fertilised it takes a few short weeks before she makes her way to the dunes to begin the nesting process. As you can imagine a turtle out of water moves like a sloth. Super slow! This in turn allows curious humans a better chance at watching these amazing creatures. Turtles have what we call a magnetic foot, meaning that they will inevitably return to the same beach they were hatched on to lay their eggs. To put things into perspective, only 1 in 1000 turtles survive to sexual maturity which is a whopping 40 years old!

turtle tracks

In general, nesting female turtles don’t like to be disturbed. If they sense danger or feel uncomfortable with the surrounding area, they will retreat back to the safety of the water and abort their nesting mission. So there is quite a strict process of how to observe these incredible turtles nesting so that humans have little or no effect on the nesting process.

In the last week we have had four Loggerhead turtles nest along the shores of South Mandu, the beach right in front of camp. The Loggerhead is currently one of the turtle species that is considered endangered, so this is great news, very exciting indeed! Fingers crossed in six to eight weeks we’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the hatchlings fleeing to the water.

Blog by EJ- Sal Salis guide.