View Full Version : poor turtles

Mistress Morigianna
09-25-2009, 07:25 PM
this couple was tring to have a romantic memorible night and now they will always remember it! I wonder why there are not signs and warnings about the light.


Friday, Sep. 25, 2009
Proposal less than romantic for sea turtle hatchlings
McClatchy Newspapers E-Mail

HILTON HEAD ISLAND -- A romantic marriage proposal on a Hilton Head Island beach Tuesday night had an unintended consequence - the death of about 60 federally protected loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings.

A man had placed about 150 luminarias - bags with a lit candle inside - in the shape of a heart on the beach near Palmetto Dunes, according to volunteers with the Sea Turtle Project who monitor the nests.

An estimated 60 baby sea turtles emerged from a nearby nest a short time later and became disoriented by the light, said Sarah Skigen, natural resources associate for the Town of Hilton Head Island and a turtle patrol volunteer.
Hilton Head Island environmental officials had hoped the remaining eggs in the nest would hatch Thursday morning.

But so far no additional hatchlings have emerged. Volunteers from the local Sea Turtle Project will check the nest later this week to determine whether any more turtles could hatch, said Skigen.

"It wouldn't surprise me if Wednesday was the sole emersion," Skigen said.

It was probably a combination of the luminarias, flashlights and the reflection of the moon on the white bags after the candles were extinguished that disoriented the hatchlings, she said. The turtles instinctively follow lunar light toward the ocean but will follow any light they see.

"The sheer volume of the white bags created a light on the beachfront," she said. "You could see the glow from 300 feet away."

When they got closer, Skigen and the other volunteers found tiny tracks heading in all directions, except toward the ocean. Some tracks repeatedly encircled the luminarias where the hatchlings succumbed either to weakness or ghost crabs. Others headed into the sand dunes, nearby lagoons and backyards.

One live hatchling was found, but it was so weak it was not expected to survive.

The couple were still celebrating their engagement when the distraught patrol volunteers rolled up.

"The people were regretful," Skigen said. "They'd just gotten engaged and were bombarded with a lot of people yelling at them."

The volunteers hope this recent incident will serve as a reminder to people to leave their lights off.

Mayor Tom Peeples agreed. "We need to be doing everything we can to minimize the chance of having this happen again."

Of the luminarias, Peeples said, "it was probably a very innocent, but not well-thought-out gesture."

here it says they left the candles lit and that they had fliers in the rental saying not to have lights.

09-26-2009, 11:24 AM
Confession: Hi, My name is Shyanwench, and I am a Turtle lover.

When I read this article yesterday, it absolutely broke my heart. Seriously, it made me cry. What bad timing. I can't imagine how the
people who live on that beach must feel. What a tragic environmental loss. :rip: my little friends.

09-26-2009, 11:48 PM
That is terribly unfortunate. I really feel for the couple in this situation. Can you imagine telling people that engagement story?! If a friend told me, I wouldn't know whether to feel happy and congratulate them or sad and tell them how sorry I am.

And what a sad sad loss of wildlife..:rip: They really should have warnings about light posted.

Isabelle Warwicke
09-27-2009, 10:28 AM
I have a question. If there were so many people (turtle patrols) and other aware residents in the area, where were they when he was setting this up? Do you know how long it takes to set up 60 luminaria and light them?