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Sea turtles are fairly commonly seen in the waters around Nevis, and right now the coastline of the island is just undeveloped enough that it is still a valuable nesting site for three endangered species of marine turtles: Green Sea Turtles, Hawksbills, and Leatherbacks. These extraordinary and fascinating animals are as old as the dinosaurs, but to survive into the future, both the turtles themselves and their nesting habitats require protection. This is especially true of the Leatherbacks, which are the largest turtles in the world, and the most endangered too.
A Hawksbill turtle glides through Nevis waters.
On Nevis the main nesting season for the sea turtles is from February through October, but a few have been seen nesting as late as December. The turtles require a sand beach with not too steep a slope, and it needs to be a quiet stretch where they will not be disturbed while they are egg-laying.
There is currently a controversy on Nevis about the possible development of a marina at Lover’s Beach, a wild beach on the north end of the island. While some people feel the development will have economic advantages, others are concerned that it will destroy one of the turtles’ best remaining nesting environments on Nevis.
Female turtle digging a nest and laying eggs on Lover's Beach at night.
On the website mentioned below you can see the travels of two different Hawksbill Turtles over the time period from August 2006 to February 2007. During those 6 months, one turtle named "Nevis" swam almost 400 miles between the islands of Nevis and St. Martin, and another turtle, "Mango", swam more than 1,500 miles almost all the way to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico! These turtles are being tracked by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation and the Sea Turtle Survival League. http://www.cccturtle.org/satellitetra...