The only time Bonaire’s sea turtles come ashore is when adult females emerge to lay their nests. Each year they arrive, sometimes from thousands of kilometers away. The hachtlings of Bonaire return to the beaches where they were born decades before.
Over a period of weeks the females and adult males congregate in the open water around Bonaire. Beginning in April and continuing through December, females make repeated crawls onto beaches where they lay their nests. Each turtle will lay on average 3 to 6 clutches of eggs, depositing 100 to 180 eggs per nest, depending on species. Once a nest is laid, the female returns to the sea, leaving the eggs on their own, to hatch in about 60 days.
Hatchlings face many predators on land and in the sea, such as ghost crabs, fish and birds. Bonaire provides nesting habitat for three species of marine turtles: hawksbill, green, and loggerhead turtles. Hawksbills deposit more than 50 nests island-wide. Green turtles and loggerheads lay perhaps less than 20 for each species. Most turtle nests are laid on the beaches that lie along the northeast coast of Klein Bonaire, on and around “No Name” beach.
-Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire-
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