Finally some leatherbacks!
What an exciting night we had on Juno Beach last night! We sure missed these busy nights after we went quite a few nights with no leatherbacks in the last week or so. We encountered a total of four leatherbacks last night; the action started early and pretty much happened all at once!
The first turtle that we encountered was Tequila, who nested on north Juno Beach just before 10 pm. Tequila was first tagged in 2011 and was seen a total of six times in that season! It is not uncommon for leatherbacks to lay six nests in one season. Will Tequila lay six more nests on Juno this season? We sure hope so!
The next turtle our researchers encountered was emerging just north of Tequila at 10:30 pm. The turtle’s name is Nima, who was first tagged by LMC back in 2001! She was seen again once in 2003, and four times in 2011. Nima has grown slightly since the last time we saw her in 2011 and looked great!
Next up to nest was Eunice, who nested at around 11 pm just south of LMC. Eunice was first tagged by LMC biologists in 2012; in that year, she was spotted twice. Eunice looked like a healthy turtle, and this was the first time we have seen her on Juno this year. We hope to see her again in a couple of weeks!
The last leatherback that our team encountered last night was spotted just after midnight on south Juno Beach. She was an untagged female, so researchers have not yet documented her. The turtle was named “Calcifer” and was given a set of flipper tags and a PIT (microchip) tag so that she can be identified in the future.
Sometimes we like to guess which turtles we will see each night. Who do you think we’ll see out there tonight? Hint: check out some of our previous blog posts — remember that leatherbacks can nest every 9-11 nights or so…