Thursday, January 17, 2013

Endangered Hawksbill Turtle Nest on Wailua Beach

The first confirmed endangered hawksbill turtle nest on Kauai was recently found at Wailua Beach, just feet from where the county plans to install the concrete Path.

A Kauai man and his wife were walking on the beach this past Sunday morning when they discovered the nest, which had been exposed by big surf. “All of the eggs were mostly open and the babies were all gone,” the man wrote in an email. “Some did not make it, but most did.”
The couple contacted the Monk Seal Watch and a volunteer came out to view the nest and collect the unhatched eggs, which were taken to Don Heacock, the state aquatic biologist for Kauai.

Don today said the eggs were indeed laid by a critically endangered hawksbill turtle, “making this the first documented case of hawksbills nesting on Kauai. They nest on Maui and the Big Island. Of course we have more green sea turtles nesting than they do.”

Don said the nest was in the middle of the beach, across from the Coco Palms. “A majority of the nest hatched. There were a few unhatched eggs, and those embryos will be sent to [federal sea turtle scientist] George Balazs for DNA analysis.”

The man who found the nest wrote that he was concerned because it was “right near where they want to put a concrete walk way and cut down the trees which may disturb the nesting area.”

Among the primary threats to hawksbills are habitat loss of coral reef communities and increased recreational and commercial use of nesting beaches in the Pacific, according to a National Marine Fisheries Service website.

In particular, increased recreational and commercial use of nesting beaches, beach camping and fires, litter and other refuse, general harassment of turtles, and loss of nesting habitat from human activities negatively impact hawksbills,” according to the website.

Meanwhile, severe erosion continues at Wailua Beach, where the county plans to soon begin removing trees in preparation for digging down about 18 inches to pour sections of concrete for the Path. The sections will be taken up only if erosion threatens the highway, according to county officials. 


Anonymous said...

There goes another nesting habitat.

Anonymous said...

Since it is "endangered" - doesn’t that temporarily stop the project?

Anonymous said...

Wailua Beach is hardly habitat for anything except sewerage and dirt. A soon-to-be four lane...........

and you people flap over some concrete slabs that can be removed?

good grief. The looney left is alive and well.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, it's obviously habitat for the hawksbill turtle, 9:25 pm.

Anonymous said...

Emergency CEASE & DESIST needed! Critical Reproductive Habitat for a Critically Endangered Species changes everything. New EIS under NEPA. Way more critical than for green sea turtles.

There are about 40 hawksbill turtle nests anually on Hawaii Island. Hawksbill in Hawaiian is ea, also synonymous with sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering IF Anthropologist Scientist Hal Hammet and his certified team of archeaologists from Cultural Survey's Hawaii found any evidence of Wailua Beach being a nesting area for the Endangered Hawksbill Turtle?? It is documented that Cultural Survey Hawaii did a scientific study of this area prior to this construction work commencing! I guess it would be hard for him or anyone else on his team to notice that Wailua Beach is a Turtle nesting area, when scientific testing was done with a back hoe and bob cat!!

Anonymous said...

Kanaloa will decide the outcome of the path...not idiot county officials. The arrival of Honu ea is hoailona, a sign. Humans thinking they can outsmart mother nature is symptomatic of our human arrogance. The sacred land of Wailuanuiahoano will rise up and protect what our so-called County Government refused to do.

Anonymous said...

Wailua Beach is what needs to be on the ENDANGERED list. The beach is erroding faster than the county or any governmental official wants to admit. Please tear down CoCo Palms and rebuild then economics will drive the beach to be preserved.