Phang Nga officials find more leatherback turtle eggs

Turtle eggs in Phang Nga, photo by MGR Online.

Turtle nesting season is well on its way in Phang Nga. Phang Nga officials found more leatherback turtle eggs, after finding over 118 of them on the same beach last month.

On Wednesday, officials from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) said they found more nests on Bang Khwan Beach, about 500 metres from the previous nest. However, the DMCR did not reveal how many eggs were found this time.

The eggs have been relocated to a safe area near the previous nest, The Phuket Express reported.

The 118 eggs found last month marked the start of nesting season. Out of the 118 eggs, 106 were fertile and in good condition. Officials moved the eggs to a high-tech nest with a fence and CCTV cameras, along with thermometers to monitor the incubation process.

DMCR chief Atthaphol Charoenchansa said that specialists are seeing a return of sea turtles on Phuket and Phang Nga beaches. More turtles and nests are being spotted each season. From 2018 to 2019 only three nests were found, and in 2021 the total had already hit 18.

From 2012 to 2017, there were zero turtle nest findings. Atthapol said this was due to beachfront development in Phuket, as well as irresponsible fishing and marine pollution.

Leatherback sea turtles are the largest of all living turtles, and the fourth heaviest modern reptiles behind three crocodilians, according to Thai National Parks.

Leatherbacks aren’t the only sea turtles in trouble in Thailand. Green sea turtles are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings is thought to make it to adulthood. Without guidance, many hatchlings die from dehydration because they don’t make it to the ocean fast enough.

In Thailand, park rangers play a crucial role in protecting sea turtle eggs and hatchlings. Rangers often move eggs they find to safer spots and help to safely guide hatchlings into the sea.

Phuket News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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