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Want to be involved in the turtle watch of 2008? Details in the email copy below from Cheryl King coordinator of the turtle recovery program.

Aloha All,

Itís hard to believe that time has flown by so quickly, but itís that time of year again- turtle nesting season!  Break out those sleeping bags, beach chairs, and red flashlights as itís going to be heaps of fun!  No green or hawksbill nesting to report just yet, but it should be soon.

In preparation for the season one major thing needs to be done again- fence repair along Sugar Beach so the nesting turtles donít approach the busy roadway.  As Iím sure youíve noticed, part of the long-awaited recycled plastic fence has been put up already (Yippee!).  We have the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Alexander & Baldwin, and The Mayorís Office to thank for the installation.  The project isnít complete yet, as there will be additional posts pounded in between the existing posts to ensure no determined turtles squeeze through the gaps.  Funding is being sought for the remainder of the fence and once that is secured and the fence ordered/shipped, it will be put up.  But, the timeline for that happening isnít certain so weíll still need to fix the rest of the stretch the old fashioned way.  It is a tough project, but very rewarding as this is one of the few things that you can directly do to save a critically endangered animal!  We obviously do not want a repeat of 1993 & 1996 when nesting females were struck and killed by passing vehiclesÖ

Mahalo to those of you who have contributed in the past- I canít thank you enough!  For those fence-mending pros and rookies, please join us for one of the last few fence repair efforts (hopefully): 8:00am-2:00pm Memorial Day weekend (May 24, 25 & 26).  Any time you can contribute will be greatly appreciated.

Since we will be focusing on the fence starting from the section near the Sugar Beach condos in North Kihei, then making our way west towards the new fence, weíll be meeting each morning in the parking area closer to the condos.  Just look for my truck (black Toyota Tacoma), which will likely have a sign in the window.  If you canít locate us, just give my cell a call: 385-5464.  I have some to share, but if you have any gloves or wire cutters/pliers please bring them along (along with water, sunscreen and sturdy shoes that can tolerate those pesky kiawe thorns).  The more people who get involved the better, so please spread the word!

Repairing the fence is the first priority, followed by some dune restoration and beach cleanups in the upcoming months.  Then of course there is the opportunity to see nesting turtles and hatchlings.  Hopefully weíll have more activity than last year, but weíll just have to wait and see.  Iíll be blogging this year, with heaps pictures to keep you in the loop and entertained.  You also may want to check out our website: www.wildhawaii.org for more information.  And please donít hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

**If youíve moved on to new endeavors and would like to be removed from this list, please reply saying so (no worries, whatsoever).

Iím looking forward to seeing you all again soon (and meeting those I havenít yet)!

A hui hou,

~Cheryl
 
Cheryl King
Hawai'i Wildlife Fund
Maui Research Coordinator
Hawksbill Recovery Project
Cell: (808)385-5464
 

(flashback to my first involvement with turtle nesting at Makena State Park)

Hawksbill Turtles Emerging Big Beach August 25,2004
by  Peter  Jones

Walking of the beach the other day Dr. Leisure was taken by the movement of a number of people toward the water. Usually it means somebody is in trouble and assistance is needed. At waters edge the word was "turtles." Not the usual green sea turtle which can be up to four feet or more in size but rather small ones of an inch or two. It turns out the newly emerged turtles were Hawksbill Turtles just out of the nest up the beach.

turtlesinhand

threeturtlesemerging

turtlewatching
 
 

Excavation of Turtle nest on Saturday August 28, 2004

watching the excavation of turtle nest
 

turtles in pan before releaseturtle in pan close

excavation nestturtle nest excavation

turtle marathon to the water


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