The size of turtles astounded us, Loggerheads are just huge and bulky, a massive reptile bigger than I expected. One individual was hurling clouds of sand skywards with her long flippers as she sought a suitable place to deposit her eggs. Over 300 nests are made at Gnaraloo every year making this site significant in terms of conservation value. I have the Loggerhead as our Featured Species this month so more information below.
To see a turtle now in open water is quite a rare and special thing, although you can see them regularly when you snorkel at Gnaraloo. But their rarity was not always so; around 1490 Christopher Columbus wrote on turtles near Cuba "so numerous that it seemed that the ships would run aground on them and were as if bathing in them"
In conservation terms ALL sea turtles are desperately in need of our care - their numbers have plummeted drastically in recent years due to many factors, but beach protection is ultimately essential to give them any hope of a future. Once thousands would have laid their eggs here, today far fewer return. I felt privileged to have seen them. The work here is crucial to continued survival of the species. They start hatching soon so if you can - go now or check out Gnaraloo for a visit next year. To find out more and join in yourself contact Gnaraloo, details can be found at their website www.gnaraloo.com. You could even ask the team to visit your workplace or school. Support Gnaraloo, support turtles, boy do they need the help to ensure they survive and hopefully begin to thrive in the 21st Century.
Thanks to Melissa, Andy, Bailey, and Toby the GTCP team.