The Marine Conservation Section, of the Environmental Management Division, has today identified that green turtles have been attempting to nest in the Sandy Bay Beach area.

Human disturbance on nesting areas through unregulated access is a risk to potential nests and can cause an unacceptable level of disturbance which can affect nesting success.In an effort to minimise human disturbance, the Marine Conservation Section has been granted permission to close the beach area until nest status can be fully ascertained.

Visitors to Sandy Bay Beach are kindly asked to adhere to the signage displayed.  The public are advised to keep any pets on a leash and to not allow their animals to enter onto the beach area, not to use torches/flashlights if a turtle is seen as this may deter the turtle from nesting, and not to light fires after dark.

Anyone visiting Sandy Bay Beach who does happen to see a turtle attempting to nest, are asked to please contact the Marine Conservation Section on telephone 22270 or email marine@enrd.gov.sh

The Marine Conservation Section will update the public as events develop and thank the public in advance for their support.

Notes for Editors

Habitat and diet: Green turtles occupy different habitats during different life stages. Adults are predominantly herbivorous and undertake cyclical, long-distance migrations between coastal feeding habitats and nesting sites, which are often located on oceanic islands. Green turtles nesting at St Helena likely forage along a 6000km stretch of coastline from northern Argentina to northern Brazil. Hatchlings are pelagic and are thought to associate with floating vegetation and other debris entrained in ocean currents.

Reproduction and life history: Green turtles nest on sandy marine beaches. Females lay an average of 6 clutches of 120 eggs within a nesting season and breed at intervals of 3-4 years. Sex is determined by nest temperature during the middle third of incubation, with a pivotal temperature (giving an equal sex ratio) of 28.8oC. Hatchlings emerge 45 – 60 days after nesting, normally at night, and disperse rapidly into the open ocean.

The green turtle is protected under both domestic legislation and multilateral environmental agreements that have been ratified by the UK and extended to its Overseas Territories:

  • Listed under Appendix I of CITES (commits parties to adopt legislation prohibiting the import of export of listed species without license from local scientific and management authorities).
  • Listed under Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (commits parties to conserving and restoring the habitats of listed species [Article III, para. 4a], minimising activities that impede their migration [Article III, paragraph 4b] and prohibiting the taking of those species [Article III, para. 5]).
  • Listed on the Schedule of the Endangered Species protection Ordinance, 1996 (forbids the endanger of the welfare of the animal and prohibits the killing, capture or taking of turtles or their eggs).

SHG

5 March 2015

 

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