Ever imagined watching the endangered sea turtle, one of the world's longest-living marine creatures, crawling onto the beach to perform a fascinating nesting ritual? Dominica's annual sea turtle hatch is a popular island activity between March and August and is an awe-inspiring sight for visitors and locals alike.
Under the watchful eye of the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organisation, visitors to the island can be added to the 'turtle alert' list to stay updated on the night-time arrival of turtles.
Four of the seven species of sea turtles visit Dominica's shores and hawksbill, leatherback and green turtles have already been seen this year on Dominica's Rosalie Bay Beach, Londonderry Beach and Bout Sabe Beach in La Plaine.
Now the island anxiously awaits the arrival of the first female sea turtle to swim ashore to dig her nest and lay her eggs. After a gestation period of 8-10 weeks, the hatchlings will emerge from the nest before finding their way back to the sea.
For those who brave this nocturnal challenge the sea turtle hatch in Dominica offers an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Sea turtle watching is done only under strict standards to ensure preservation of the species. A representative of the Nature Enhancement Team (NET) ensures that spectators follow the rules for interacting with and watching the turtles and that their eggs are protected. The team also records turtle activity, nests and hatchings.
Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-ee-ka) is a spectacular green island of rugged mountains, lush rainforests and rushing rivers in the Eastern Caribbean, lying south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique.
For more information about Dominica and sea turtle watching please visit www.discoverdominica.com and www.youtube.com/discoverdominica.
A selection of short video guides about the island can be downloaded for free on www.iTunes.com and you can keep up to date with the latest news on Facebook www.facebook.com/discoverdominica and Twitter www.twitter.com/nature_island.
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