WATCH: Green Sea Turtle Hatchlings at Siladen Resort
By Chloe Smith
Watch the first of this season's green turtle hatchlings flee the nest!
In most parts of the world, turtles are either considered endangered or critically endangered, however, in Bunaken Marine Park, constant protection of both turtles and their nesting grounds has resulted in their population increasing over recent years.
The marine park is home to five of the seven species of sea turtle. The most common is the green turtle, which makes up around 90 per cent of the turtle population in Bunaken Marine Park. The second most frequent sightings are the hawksbill, which can be spotted munching on the reefs. Loggerheads and olive Ridleys are also seen, but an uncommon sight, and the much larger and pelagic leatherbacks are occasionally spotted in deeper waters.
Although turtles are not frequently spotted on the reefs surrounding Siladen (instead opting for Bunaken), they do use the island's white sandy beaches to lay their eggs. Over the years Siladen has had many turtle nests appearing, but this year, turtle activity seems to be at an all-time high.
The footage above shows one of the three current nests which hatched on the 23 November. From 150 eggs, 140 new turtles were welcomed into the world. These hatchlings were green turtles; recognisable by the number of scutes (plates) on their shells.
The hatching process takes place over a couple of days. The first sign is a small sinkhole appearing, where the sand begins to collapse as the eggs hatch and the hatchlings begin digging. The next stage can take a few hours, as they begin pushing up for the air. Depth of the nest and sand density can affect how long this takes. Finally, after the first couple have broken the surface, the remaining nest will begin spilling on to the beach in a dramatic fashion before they head for the ocean.
Although this nest has been and gone, you still have a chance to witness this amazing event first hand as Siladen still has two nests remaining.
The first one contains 148 eggs, and it is due to hatch between the 7-10 December.
The second is slightly larger, containing 165 eggs, and should hatch between the 6-9 January.