PHOTOS BY : Courtenay “Bush Man” Rooks (Adventurer / Managing Director – Paria Springs Tours)
The twin island state of Trinidad & Tobago sees numerous beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but no one is more deserving of a peaceful trek, along the gentle sunlit Grand Riviere coastline, than “Mama” Leatherback returning to the sea after an arduous night of nesting. Our NativeFoto Contributor “Bush Man” Courtney Rooks, a well known friend of nature, was on hand to capture a couple photo moments. We look forward to further images from Courtenay to add to our Local Stock Image database at NativeFoto.com . Read on if you’re not scared of catching a little knowledge about our Leatherbacks 🙂
COMMENTARY: Leatherbacks are the oldest of all sea turtle species, and have been around for more than 150 million years; they even survived the extinction of the dinosaurs !! The typical adult measures in between 5-6 feet and weighs 600-800 pounds .
Below are excerpts taken from Amazing-Trinidad-Vacations.com, to see the full article go to http://www.amazing-trinidad-vacations.com/leather-back-sea-turtle.html
Trinidad is one of the most important leather-back sea turtle nesting sights in the world. During peak season some beaches report up to 300 nesting leatherbacks in a single night. It’s estimated that approximately 20 percent of the world’s leather-back sea turtle population is of Trinidadian ancestry.
Leather-back sea turtles nest every 2 to 3 years, returning up to 6 times a nesting season to deposit broods of between 80-100 tennis-ball size sea turtle eggs on each visit, 70% of which will hatch in between 60-70 days, just prior to dawn.
But many things can go wrong. Inexperienced females sometimes fail to lay their eggs above high water mark, lights on the beach scare nesting turtles away, and nest sand can become compacted from too much foot traffic, so conservation efforts are ongoing to reduce man’s impact on these wonderful creatures.
Visiting Helps the Local Communities. For a child, this can be the adventure of a lifetime. Getting to stay up into the wee hours of the night, walking along a dark beach under a star filled Caribbean night sky, and witnessing the 1½ to 2 hour dramatic nesting ritual of the giant leatherbacks. And what’s more, when you go leather-back sea turtle watching in Trinidad and Tobago you help the local economies, encourage conservation, and ensure the survival of these modern day dinosaurs.
March through August is turtle watching season, but the best time to visit is during April to July, peak nesting season…. wear warm dark coloured clothing, long pants, and tennis shoes. And don’t forget your insect repellent.