Dear turtle friends, your eggs are now turtles

Since we shared our pawikan conservation project in Pag-asa, Bagac, Bataan, The Philippines, over 3000 baby turtles, locally known as pawikan, have hatched and were released back into the sea. We cannot say it enough, but thank you very much for your support!

There is noticeable space in the hatchery; previous nests are now empty and our personal family and friends who have supported our cause early have seen their eggs become turtles one by one. Here is the story of how this started.

Some exciting news: Two days ago, we received word from the hatchery nurses that the first nest with a sponsor from our blog has hatched! In the cover of night, a small baby turtle head peaked out of the sand from Nest 70 adopted by Sunny Days with Juliette.

The nest has not yet fully hatched though. Sometimes it takes days, but we were so happy to know these eggs are now turtles! Is there anything more pure than seeing these babies come out of the sand, open their eyes, and walk around for the first time?

The baby turtles are released the same day they are born. It is a bittersweet experience. Who knows what is waiting for them out there? We hope it is success, but this is out of our hands.

We can only do what we can by supporting the nesting efforts and making sure the most number of baby turtles return to the sea. This is an important cause, one that is worthy of our devotion.

Turtles are one of the most important players in a coastal ecosystem. As a result, saving turtles has a positive ripple effect, not only for plants and wildlife but also for the people living in the area. This is how it works:

Nutritious nesting

As you probably know, turtles lay a lot of eggs. This is because even in the best of times, just 1% to 10% of these eggs make it to maturity. But the 90% are far from wasted. Eggs leave nutrients in the sand, as do hatchlings that do not make it – feeding coastal plants in the process. This growth stabilizes beaches and slows down or downright prevents coastal erosion.

A meaty snack

Turtle hatchlings have a tough start in life. After struggling out of their shell, they have an arduous trip to the sea ahead of them. Some reach the water, while others are a valuable source of food for a large variety of animals, which contributes to other wildlife surviving in the area. But even adult turtles are prey to several apex predators out there.

Controlling other sea creatures

Jellyfish, sea sponges, and other sea creatures are some of the main sources of food for turtles. This keeps their populations in check and avoids population explosions of one species at the expense of others. The result is greater biodiversity, which leads to greater resilience of an area against adverse effects such as climate change.

Undersea gardening

By turtles grazing on seagrass, the seagrass stays healthy. This is important because seagrass is a source of food for many species beyond just turtles. On top of that, seagrass stores carbon and thus contributes to slowing down climate change.

Turtle transportation

In their long migrations around the world, turtles carry a large variety of creatures around with them. Crustaceans, remoras, algae, they all hitch rides on turtle shells, which helps them spread throughout the ocean. Fish sometimes use turtles to hide from predators, and once turtles surface, they even help birds by giving them a safe spot to land on and rest for a while!

The human element

Turtles hold great cultural significance for many coastal communities around the world. But even ignoring the spiritual and psychological effects turtles have on coastal communities, a thriving turtle population can transform an area economically as well. Diving, turtle watching, and eco-tourism in general help communities improve their economic situation while incentivizing the protection of the local environment.

These are just some reasons why saving turtles is important. Any of these are just scratching the surface, of course, and there is a lot more to learn about why turtles are rightfully referred to as a “keystone species” within an ecosystem.

We will continue to support them in every way we can. Again, thank you very much for your help and we will update each and every one of you once your eggs have become turtles. Even if you are far away, we definitely consider you a part of our community. Many thanks and stay tuned!

Published by Markus + Micah

We are Markus + Micah. We live in a tiny house by the sea, grow our plants, cook plant-based food, travel, and design wellness retreats and mindful programs so we can all live meaningful lives.

40 thoughts on “Dear turtle friends, your eggs are now turtles

  1. This is marvellous Markus and Micah. Well done to both of you, and also to those who supported you in making the eggs become turtles. Turtles, as you point out, are so important as a keystone species. I can only imagine how pleased you are. Turtles have always been of fascination to me. I was once upon a time chairperson of the Malleefowl Preservation Group and also involved in the development of what is called Yongernow: The Malleefowl is a megapode and the most amazing creature to observe in the wild (which the whole family has done of course). I was also involved in promoting the Gondwana Link project way back when

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    1. I will look up what malleefowls are. They sound cool. And yes, animals need our help. Their is just a big imbalance in nature because of human activities. It is about time we change our ways for the better. We try to do our part and we were lucky we are connected to people who also got the turtles back!

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  2. I’ve been catching up on my favorite follows this morning. Hear in the Midwest US it has been miserable cold with snow and we have been fighting with the temperatures to keep our livestock healthy.
    This post was a breath of fresh air for me. You are doing some amazing work for those turtles. How wonderful that work seems to be paying off!!

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      1. I have horses and will soon have chicks. My stepfather runs a cow/calf farm. They are having babies right now and he’s been fighting to keep them alive and warm. Thanks for the well wishes!

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  3. I feel weirdly proud of my babies for just being born ahah 😄 Thank you so much for giving us the possibility to adopt the nests and for keeping us informed all along the process! This post was also super informative, there is so much I didn’t know about turtles! Thank you again so much 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You deserve to be proud! If you did not adopt this nest and they were not taken into the hatchery, chances are high that they would not even be born. Thank you very much for your support. It means a lot to the community. Hopefully, we will see these babies again in 30 years!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This makes my heart sing!
    As your informative post makes clear, there is so much interconnection in nature. Disrupting the viability of one creature impacts so many others in ways we rarely understand.
    I appreciate all you’re doing for these sea turtles and the biodiversity they support!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rebecca, and thank you for helping us support them. You are right – we are all connected and the sooner we understand this, the better the outcome for our planet. Sadly, many people believe they are above everything, which leaves no room for empathy. A small bird is just as important as a human being. We all play a role and we must learn to respect this balance if we are to survive.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a good thing to read on a cold Sunday morning here. The photos of the babies are cute. I’m glad you’re bringing awareness to the plight of the turtles. In a tired world seeing them and knowing that people are helping them is refreshing news.

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    1. Oh, we are sending lots of sunshine your way. These baby turtles are fire! So cute, each a hope for a better future. The local community is giving their best effort and we are lucky to be connected with people who also helped the turtles. The support they got from our blogging community is also overwhelming. It was super cool to rally behind the turtles.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Brilliant news! Wishing all these little creatures a safe passage to maturity. Thank you, Marcus and Micah, for highlighting and for helping in this wonderful cause. Next time, give me more warning and I’ll ‘advertise’ the cause on my own blog. Happy Valentine’s day to you both! 💌🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely happy news! Thank you for your well-wishes. We also hope for the best for these babies. It will be tough but they can make it. We will let you know when your nest turn into turtles, too. We cannot thank you enough for your support. It means a lot to the community. Much love back.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is really the community that does a great job in caring and respecting what they have. We can only support their efforts and raise awareness. If we are lucky, many of these babies will mature and see us again on 30 years!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow. 100 nests 👏👏👏 I saw similar stories from another group in La Union. Project Curma, i think it was called. I think it’s such a great initiative and would love to support too ❤

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        1. The turtles have done great job this season. And yes, it is coll to see these conservation projects along the coastline of our country. The turtles are already there and it only makes sense to support them, right. Great heart and effort from the community, too. It is a priviledged for us to support this project.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Learned so much from this post…
    ..for some people like me, we know animals should be taken care of because they’re alive… they’re living things.. but not many of us know their purpose besides the basics that are being taught in primary school…
    Thank you (and Leonardo di Caprio) for continuously educating me about this…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Yes, a big part of conservation and protection is creating awareness. It also only works when people are receptive. The turtles are so cute! It is an incredible experience to watch them hatch and head to the sea. There is nothing like it. Valuable experience for anyone, especially children.

      Liked by 3 people

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