We are all extremely excited on Necker to have new turtle nests appearing on the beach. There are 13 turtle nests this season, which could be made by either hawksbill or green turtles. The most nests we've ever had on Necker before is a single one.

For the British Virgin Islands it is unheard of to have so many nests. We could have up to 2,000 hatchlings this year. Only one in a thousand survive to adulthood and they don't reproduce until they are 10 years old.

They normally go back to where they have nested before, but this year many have come to Necker, which is the furthest island out in the BVI. One theory behind this is other beaches are now just too populated to hatch on or have been developed.

Richard with turtle nest on Necker Island 2013
Turtle swimming off Necker Island

They really are in peril, as they still get hunted and caught by humans, as well as natural predators like crabs and birds. If they do make it into the ocean there are all manner of fish waiting to eat them too. 20% will never have the strength to get out of their holes in the first place.

We're going to set up cameras to monitor their progress and work out what species they are. While it is tempting to help give the turtles a headstart, there are a few things that man can do to increase their chances. The Cayman Turtle Farm is one of the biggest experiments in the 'headstarting' of turtles, releasing 30,000 green turtle hatchlings into the wild. However, the results are not yet conclusive.

Experts strongly recommend leaving the eggs in place in order to hatch naturally, and allowing the hatchlings to run immediately into the sea. Here’s hoping the new Necker turtles have a successful breeding year and return to these shores again and again.

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