Remember those pawikan or sea turtles that you helped return to the ocean last season? They are at it again!
On 30 August, the first pawikan nest was found by the community volunteers. There are a total of 27 nests now and counting. All of these first eggs were adopted by Audrey and Bubbles.
Bubbles, our favorite cat lady, powered much of the operations of the community hatchery during the off-season. Her support allowed us to nurse these early nests, but more important, rebuild the hatchery that was damaged by coastal floods during the last moonsoon season. We cannot thank you enough for your support!
Our big thanks to local supporters, too, who continue to take care of the needs of the hatchery. Much has improved now in terms of tools and supplies for those who collect the eggs and maintain the hatchery. This also means that Mama turtles are now tagged and their data recorded. All of it remains a community- and volunteer-centered effort.
The first hatchlings for this season were released 25 October – 22 small, fragile, yet driven turtles out of 100 eggs. The small number of hatchlings is attributed to the devastating coastal floods only a few months ago. The eggs got wet and cold. The developing turtles inside died.
We were lucky the coastal floods and the following erosion, which collapsed the dike and displaced many families, spared the rest of the hatchery. We will later find out the fate of the remaining nests.
We expect a higher number of nests this year, not only because the turtles started early, but also because the community is more energized and engaged than ever before, despite of and inspite of dealing with the natural calamities that ravaged the area.
There are more people patrolling the coasts. More nests found by individuals are being surrendered to the hatchery, instead of selling it for food or eating it themselves. There is more awareness of the turtles and a larger part of the community is involved in the cause – our cause, you included!
You were the first to believe in them, the first to say what they are doing mattered.
Almost 8,000 turtle hatchlings returned to the ocean last season because of you. I do not know how we would have made it without your support!
This season, the turtles seem to double-down on their efforts. We will be here supporting them. As long as there are pawikan eggs, we will do all we can to bring them home.
Do you think we can beat our record from last season?