Sunday, June 24, 2018

Work crews crush sea turtle eggs on Trinidad beach

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Thousands of leatherback turtle eggs and hatchlings have been crushed by heavy machinery along a Trinidad beach widely regarded as the world's densest nesting area for the biggest of all living sea turtles, conservationists said Monday.

Government work crews with bulldozers were redirecting the Grand Riviere, a shifting river that was threatening a hotel where tourists from around the globe watch the huge endangered turtles lay their eggs. But several conservationists who monitor turtle populations say the crews botched the job, digging up an unnecessarily large swath of the important nesting beach in the tiny coastal town on Trinidad's northern shore.

Sherwin Reyz, a member of the Grand Riviere Environmental Organization, estimated that as many as 20,000 eggs were crushed or consumed by the scores of vultures and stray dogs that descended upon the narrow strip of beach to eat the remains after the Saturday operation by the Ministry of Works.

"They had a very good meal. I was near tears," said Reyz, who helped save hundreds of hatchlings that were uninjured when they were dredged up by the heavy machinery. "It was a disgusting mess."

Leatherbacks, which can grow to more than 7 feet long, can weigh a ton and live to 100 years, will return to lay their eggs on the beach of their birth. The nesting ground of Grand Riviere is so popular with the globally endangered species that nest-digging females sometimes accidentally dig up others' eggs.

Marydele Donnelly, director of international policy for the Florida-based Sea Turtle Conservancy, said avoidable losses of thousands of eggs and hatchlings is always a cause for concern but "this one event will not change the course of leatherback conservation in the Caribbean."

Leatherbacks lay about 85 eggs at a time, but less than 1 percent survive to adulthood.

The hotelier who had been pressing Trinidad's government for months to redirect the Grand Riviere was also shocked and dismayed by the end result.

"For some reason they dug up the far end of the beach, absolutely encroaching into the good nesting areas. This could have been avoided with a much wiser approach. But it was done too late and it was done in the wrong way," said Italian hotelier Piero Guerrini.

Phone calls to Trinidad's ministers of public works and tourism were unanswered.

Comments
Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

ST. PETERSBURG – Jake Bauers hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the Rays defeated the Yankees 7-6 in front of 23,667 at Tropicana Field to complete a three-game sweep Sunday. It's the first time the Yankees have lost three straight t...
Updated: 8 minutes ago

A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

TAMPA — Every year during draft season, local players from the Tampa Bay area are selected in the NFL, MLB and even NBA drafts.But hockey?Sure enough, in the third round of Saturday's NHL draft, the Winnipeg Jets selected Nathan Smith, a forwar...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURGSuspect dead, 2 injured in home invasion, shootingThree people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the peop...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Trump says ‘invaders’ are entering US from Mexico

Trump says ‘invaders’ are entering US from Mexico

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday compared people entering the U.S. from Mexico to invaders and said they should be immediately sent back without appearing before a judge. The American Civil Liberties Union said in response that such a st...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

Hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

A Tampa man suffered life-threatening injuries and his 3-year-old son is in serious condition after being struck by a hit-and-run driver as they went on a family bike ride Sunday afternoon."This is a family in a very tough situation," Tampa Police De...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays sweep Yankees with Bauers walk-off in 12 innings

Rays sweep Yankees with Bauers walk-off in 12 innings

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Jake Bauers (9) hit a walkoff homerun during the Tampa Bay Rays game against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field on June 24, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays won 7-6.Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Jake Bauers (9)...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Capitals re-sign Carlson to $64M, 8-year deal

Capitals re-sign Carlson to $64M, 8-year deal

The Washington Capitals have re-signed John Carlson to a $64 million, eight-year contract that allows the Stanley Cup champions to keep the do-it-all defenseman
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sparks bounce back, beat Liberty 80-54

Riquna Williams scored a season-high 25 points, hitting seven 3-pointers, to help the Los Angeles Sparks rout the New York Liberty 80-54
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bubba Watson shoots 63 to rally for 3rd Travelers title

Bubba Watson shoots 63 to rally for 3rd Travelers title

Bubba Watson rallied to win his third Travelers Championship title, shooting a 7-under 63 on Sunday for a three-stroke victory at TPC River Highlands
Updated: 1 hour ago
Weaver, Martinez pace Cards past Brewers

Weaver, Martinez pace Cards past Brewers

Luke Weaver settled in after a shaky first inning to win for the first time in eight starts and Jose Martinez hit a three-run homer to pace the St. Louis Cardinals to an 8-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers
Updated: 1 hour ago