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Where and When You Can See Baby Turtles in Jamaica

At Silver Sands of course!

Young girl snorkeling with sea turtle
Hawksbill Sea Turtle

In 2014, Silver Sands joined the efforts of the Jamaica Environment Trust and the Jamaica Sea Turtle Project to protect the critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata). This species is one of the most endangered, and Jamaica sees a significant proportion of the World population nesting on its beaches.

Many people want to witness and participate in the managed turtle releases taking place at Silver Sands, as guests are permitted to get very close to the babies and even hold them in the palm of their hands. Some people even consider planning their vacations to coincide with one of these events. The Silver Sands team notes when a sea turtle visits the beach and lays her eggs. The nest is monitored, and a prediction made for the date of the managed release. With the experts advising that the incubation period is between fifty and sixty days, and most visitors staying only seven nights, participating in a managed turtle release is definitely not a sure thing.

The nesting season starts around end of April. Here is a timeline of hatchings at Silver Sands since July 2014, which you may use this as a guide to plan a visit and hope that you are lucky:

19 July 2014
1 November 2014
22 November 2014
5 December 2014

29 December 2014
21 June 2015
3 August 2015
4 September 2015
28 September 2015
16 - 26 October 2015
27 October 2015
30 October 2015
2 November 2015
16 November 2015
As of this writing (1 December 2015), there are 3 more nests which should be ready during December. That means there is a good possibility of three more managed turtle releases before the end of the year.

I wrote this article last night, and this morning Tristan saw newly-hatched turtles on the grass in front of Endless Summer. We helped them to the beach as it was clear they were suffering from the harsh hot sun. The joy of rescuing them soon vanished as I saw a big fish swoop into the shallow water near the beach to have them for breakfast.

Mysilversands' guests encourage a newly hatched baby sea turtle to make the journey down the Silver Sands beach to the Caribbean sea:

By Prem Chadeesingh