Well, with just about 4 weeks of patrols completed in the 2009 research season, the hawksbills are nesting at a record-setting pace on Jumby Bay. A total of 26 turtles, including 7 neophytes (or first-time nesters), have already been recorded crawling on the beaches. And those hawksbills have laid 40 nests! At an average of about 150 eggs per nest, that means there are about 6000 ping-pong ball sized hawksbill eggs incubating in the Pasture Beach sand.
A nesting hawksbill doing her thing on Pasture Beach.
Dom and Kate have also seen quite a few remigrants (turtles previously recorded nesting on Pasture Beach) on their maiden return to Jumby Bay. In fact, nearly half - 12 of the 26 turtles - are such first-time remigrants. Very interesting indeed!
So far, it looks like those pre-season predictions are looking pretty good, and that 70 turtle mark is still within our sights. Keep the good news coming from the islands....