November 2013 – Wilderness Collection’s North Island, one of the world’s most exclusive private islands in Seychelles, has made an ongoing contribution to both green and hawksbill turtle conservation over the past 10 years.
The Island’s environmental team has been dedicated to monitoring the turtles each year since 2004. Approximately 30 to 100 hawksbill and green turtle nests are laid on the Island each year and all data is collected by the team and sent to Jeanne Mortimer, a reptile specialist in Seychelles who studies turtle migration around the Seychelles, for further analysis.
“We currently have eight turtle nests on the Island – six on West Beach (3 hawksbills; 3 green), one green turtle nest on Honeymoon Beach and one hawksbill nest on Petit Anse. With November being the start of our peak hawksbill season, we are hoping to have at least 25 nests laid here this month. Guests are able to join our environmental team as they monitor the various nesting sites and, if they are lucky, get the once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch a turtle lay its eggs”, said Ianka van Wyk of North Island.
Unique to Seychelles, hawksbill turtles nest during the day and can be seen emerging from the ocean and laying eggs on North Island’s beaches from September to January. Click here to view some incredible photos of a hawksbill turtle laying her eggs on the Island on the 29th of October 2013.
In Seychelles and on North Island, green turtles have been recorded nesting in every month of the year but do show a peak period from January to September. This species nests at night and guests are encouraged to join patrols with the environmental team during the peak nesting season. Given an incubation period of around two months, the best times to see the emergence of hatchlings (also at night or on overcast days) is between March and November.
Each season, the following is recorded:
- All sightings and GPS locations of nesting green and hawksbill turtles, as well as turtle tracks indicating nesting
- Carapace measurements (breadth and length) of every nesting turtle
- Identification of each nesting turtle (PIT tag)
- Number of hatchlings per nest
Watching turtles lay their eggs, or the tiny hatchlings as they scramble down to the safety of the ocean, is a rare privilege. Spending time with North Island’s environmental team will allow guests the opportunity to experience the Island’s unique fauna and flora, and to realise the enormity of the restoration work achieved during the Noah’s Ark conservation programme to ensure its status as one of Seychelles’ most environmentally successful private islands.
Notes to the editor
Wilderness Collection www.wilderness-collection.com
The Wilderness Collection is a hand-picked portfolio of progressive and innovative destinations in iconic areas of Africa and its islands. All of the destinations share a philosophy of building environmental, social and financial equity and of raising global awareness around sustainability.
Refined and elegant, each location is dedicated to unashamed, but sustainable, luxury and exceptional guest experiences. From the barefoot opulence of North Island, to the architectural sophistication and elephant ambassadors of Abu Camp, the rainforest discovery and lowland gorilla encounters of Odzala and the cultural journey and modern conservation concept of Segera, the Wilderness Collection is firmly rooted in striving to provide truly unique and authentic experiences for our guests.
North Island www.north-island.com
North Island is one of Africa’s most exclusive private islands, situated 30km from the main island of Mahé, Seychelles. Extremely isolated with only 11 spacious guest villas, North Island is renowned for its luminous white beaches, filigree reefs and azure Indian Ocean.
North Island offers an unrivalled all-inclusive experience where guests are able to choose whatever they want to do and eat, whenever and wherever – private beach dinners being a firm favourite. On land or in water, the choices on North Island are many and varied – from cool forest trails and mountain biking to snorkelling, diving, kayaking, fishing expeditions and romantic sunset boat cruises.
North Island is a sanctuary where natural habitats, long neglected, were rehabilitated so that endangered Seychelles fauna and flora could be reintroduced and given a place to grow and thrive.