Monday, June 8, 2009

The Male with the Large Tail

Good morning! We’re a few hours late with our blog today due to an extremely exciting night that required all hands on deck, but I’ll come to that later.

Saturday night saw us splitting into two groups, some down to the beach and 4 of us to a fundraiser. On the beach 2 Loggerheads were found nesting, one on Alagadi and one on Iki. Whilst measuring and observing these, Kate managed to tag not the turtle, but herself. Luckily she’s fine but we’re all intrigued to find out where exactly she goes every day! Our Logger friend from the night before also returned for another 6 attempts at nesting before going back into the sea, bringing her grand total of body pits dug up to nine. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that she’ll actually lay sometime soon, in the mean time its nice to see a familiar face on the beach each night!

Meanwhile, Becca, Tom, Sam and I went to the fund raising turtle race and dinner, where we eagerly anticipated our spaghetti bolognaise made with real meat! (not an aubergine in sight). We weren’t let down. The food was fantastic and the people unbelievably friendly. We all had a small bet on the turtle races, where Sam and I came out on top and Becca and Tom didn’t. Through generous donations and a bit of competitive spirit over 800 YTL was raised, which is a fantastic sum of money and will go a long way in helping the project. Thank you to everyone involved for helping us and giving us a wonderful evening off.

The next day we were up early to go west to walk the horrifically long beaches to find any nests from the night before. Tom and I found our first day time nest, a Loggerhead we have named Heather. After much prodding and digging of the sand we eventually found her egg chamber, bringing the total number of nest found in the west up to two. Unfortunately the other nest had been partially predated by dogs, but we have high hopes for the remaining eggs.

So last night! After a farewell dinner for Penny, the beach patrol set off. Half an hour later, Ainslie burst into the restaurant where we were still sat, shouting about a male turtle. We flung some money on the table and sprinted down to the beach where we found a pair of green turtles mating. Kate, Tom and Sam had seen what the believed to be a large rock steadily moving up the beach. The female had determinedly carried her male all the way on to the sand with her mind set on nesting! After Kate, Tom and Sam executed some very professional commando rolls in order to observe them unseen, we all gathered round to wait for her to begin to lay. A few hours later, during which time the female was simultaneously mating and digging her body pit and egg chamber, we were starting to get restless. Finally she began lay and the volunteers swung into action. Kate and I took the female to tag, and eventually as the male came off he was surrounded in tables from the beach bar so that we could quickly get a satellite on him. Everything went well and we now have one of the only males tagged with a satellite transmitter, which will be fantastic from a research point of view.

An unbelievable exciting night, which I can’t imagine ever being topped, but it seems you never know what’s around the corner at the turtle project!


  1. Melanie said

    Only my neice Kate could manage to tag herself. I wouldn't want to know what she does at all times of the day!!!! I think the website is great and I look at it often.

  2. Great Stuff!!! I do my own monthly Cyprus blog for all my friends in England and I have already told them about this exciting event. Now I can direct them to your page to see it for themselves. Thanx and keep up the good work! Pam Schofield

  3. Great stuff! I do my own monthly blog for all my friends in UK and I have told them about this unusual event. Now I can direct them to your page to see for themselves. Keep up the good work. Pam Schofield