2. Phuket, Thailand: Turtle egg find floats hope of leatherbacks returning to Phuket region
SOURCE: Phuket Gazette online; phuketgazette.net - DATE: 13th December 2012
Hopes that turtles are returning to their traditional nesting sites along the Andaman Coast soared as a second clutch of leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) eggs was discovered on Tai Muang Beach in Phang Nga, just north of Phuket, within an eight day period. The discovery of the nest on Tuesday follows a leatherback turtle being spotted laying eggs on the beach on the 3rd of December. However, officers at the Khao Lampi – Hat Thai Mueang National Park, where both nests were created, believe that the two clutches of eggs were laid by different turtles.“ The turtle spotted on the 3rd of December was 2.12 meters long, but tracks left in the sand from this second turtle indicate that it is much smaller animal than the first one,” said park officer Witoon Detpramuanphol. The nest discovered by local villagers early Tuesday morning was located about 500 meters from where the first turtle was spotted on the 3rd of December. Mr Witoon said that he and fellow park officers will be monitoring the area in the hope that the turtles will return to lay more eggs. “We believe that the first turtle will come back to lay more eggs sometime between today and Saturday, as leatherback turtles usually lay eggs twice, about 10 days apart,” he said. “The first turtle laid 131 eggs – 99 of them had been fertilized, and 32 were undeveloped. We removed the fertilized eggs to a safe place near our checkpoint so our officers can look after them and keep them safe from predators, man or otherwise,” Mr Witoon explained. “The number of people visiting Mai Khao and development in the area have forced many turtles to lay their eggs elsewhere,” he added.
Link to this web article online (English)