The first month of the 2015-2016 Pawikan Nesting Season has officially started. More than 50 volunteer patrollers from different groups and organizations participated last November 1 – 30 , 2015 in La Union and a total of 7 nests were relocated to the CURMA Hatchery.
The nesting season commenced with the assistance of both local and visiting volunteers, and included coastal clean up, review of patrolling protocols and finding live sea turtle protocols.
The 6 kilometer coastline of the town of San Juan, La Union has consistently been one of the nesting sights of the Olive Ridley sea turtle. Six of seven nests were found along the coastline of the town of San Juan while one was found along the coastline of barangay Baroro, municipal of Bacnotan, north of the town of San Juan.
Volunteers were excited to find the very first nest on 2nd of November along barangay Panicsican with 120 eggs and two days later, a second nest was found along the same coastline with 101 eggs. A week after, the third nest was discovered along the coastline of barangay Baroro with 120 eggs and again, 3 days later, a fourth nest with 92 eggs, along the coastline of barangay Urbiztondo.
It wasn’t until the last week of November that another 3 nests were found. Though a long wait for the volunteer patrollers, it was worth the while because 3 Olive Ridley sea turtles were spotted. Volunteers were able to witness up close two of these mother sea turtles nesting. They laid 59, 80 , and 82 eggs respecctively.
The month of November ended with the hope for more sightings for the coming months.
month of November ended with the hope for more sightings for the coming month of December.
Raphael Bismark, Volunteer Patroller
This year was the most interesting for me, because this is the only year we got less than 10 pawikan nests for the first month of the nesting season. At the same time, I was very fortunate to experience a live mother pawikan nesting at our very beach here at San Juan, La Union. I was able to witness her lay the eggs. I was very astonished . I think if other people will be a volunteer patroller for CURMA, they will get to experience that.
Archana Gabbard, Volunteer Patroller
In the few times that I was able to go patrolling, I was lucky enough to assist in the relocation of a pawikan nest. Actually it was the first day I went patrolling this year that I helped in the transporting of some sea turtle eggs to our hatchery. It was amazing to hold the fragile eggs in my hands as we gently placed them in the sanctuary. This experience was very special for me and it is one that I will remember for the rest of my life.