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Our shores hold a vital role as nesting grounds for sea turtles. To safeguard pregnant turtles and their precious offspring, it is essential to switch off all lights when not in use, especially those outdoors.
What would you do if you came across a sea turtle gracefully crawling in the garden of your beach villa? Here at Fairmont, we have the privilege of being a year-round sea turtle nesting site, often resulting in these majestic creatures choosing the gardens of our beach villas as their nesting spots.
Should you ever encounter a sea turtle making her way up the beach, it is crucial to follow these guidelines to ensure she can lay her eggs safely:
• Turn off all lights emanating from your villa, your phone screen, and any flash photography. Red lights are permissible if necessary.
• Maintain a respectful distance, at least 3 meters away, and make yourself appear inconspicuous by kneeling down and staying perfectly still.
• Preserve tranquility and refrain from creating loud noises.
• Never touch the turtle. These creatures are sensitive to touch, even on their shells.
• Avoid walking or standing in front of the turtle. Approach her cautiously from behind, giving her ample space.
• Kindly inform your villa host, who will contact the sea turtle biologist promptly. They will perform a swift health check, record measurements, and capture facial ID pictures to identify the sea turtle.
Disregarding these guidelines could potentially distress and disorientate the sea turtle, leading her to prematurely abandon her nest and release her eggs at sea, where they will not survive. This is precisely why our Marine Biology Team conducts daily beach patrols to check for any turtles that have emerged and crawled onto the beach in search of a suitable nesting spot.
When a nest is discovered, the Sea Turtle Biologist will mark it and place a sign to ensure no disturbance during the two-month incubation period. As the nest’s due date approaches, the markers will be replaced with a three-walled box and a fence positioned perpendicular to the waterline. These measures minimize light pollution and guide the hatchlings directly to the sea, ensuring a safe and successful journey.