It sure has been a beautiful week to be out on the beach scouting for leatherback turtles! Warm temperatures, a nice breeze, and no rain — these are a few of our favorite things. The leatherbacks are still nesting slowly and steadily; usually one or two each night on Juno Beach. Since Rikki nested on Sunday night, we have had a few more encounters:
On Monday night, LMC researchers encountered a tagged female on north Juno Beach. We do not have a record of her in our database, but will reach out to fellow biologists to find out her history. On Tuesday night, researchers spotted a HUGE turtle on south Juno Beach! According to our database, her name is Nerita and she is even bigger than the last time we encountered her. Nerita was first tagged by LMC researchers in 2005 and was seen again in 2007.
Last night, our biologists encountered a familiar turtle: Shaula. Shaula nested on north Juno Beach just before 3 am. We have not seen Shaula for about 3 weeks, which is longer than their typical internesting period (the time between successive nests). This tells us that Shaula likely nested on another beach in between the two times that we encountered her. The turtle still looked healthy, so we hope she will come back to lay another nest on Juno in a couple of weeks!