Green Sea Turtle Lays Nest on Busy Great Bay Beach

Nature Foundation Relocates Nest to Safer Area.

The St. Maarten Nature Foundation was alerted to a Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting on Great Bay Beach early on Thursday morning.


Upon arrival at the location it was found that the turtle nested very shallow in the sand on Great Bay beach and her nesting was interrupted by stray dogs roaming the beach. It was also decided that because of the high number of beach activities that the Nature Foundation relocate the nest to a more suitable location. The nest was excavated and quickly removed to a quieter beach in order to avoid undue stress to the 178 eggs.

Sea turtle population numbers have plummeted to dangerously low numbers throughout the past century due to human impacts, bringing many species close to extinction and causing them to be listed as critically endangered. In order to reverse this trend, all sea turtle species are now protected by international laws and treaties as well as local laws. Based on ARTICLE 16 and 17 of the Nature Conservation Ordinance St. Maarten it is illegal to kill, wound, capture, pick-up, have animals that belong to a protected animal species, to directly or indirectly disturb their environment resulting in a physical threat or damage to the fauna or to commit other acts which result in disturbance of the animal. It is also forbidden to upset an animal belonging to a protected species, to disturb damage or destroy its nest, lair, or breeding place, as well as to take the nest of such an animal. Also, it is forbidden to pick-up or to destroy the eggs of animals belonging to a protected species.