Written By: Shane McCann
Last night while finishing dinner I was fortunate enough to be in the middle of a Loggerhead Turtle Hatching on the beach side of Wild Orchid Belize. Therese Jonch and Angel Martin are the managers of the property and found a total of 48 hatchlings.
Loggerhead turtles are the most abundant of all the marine turtle species in U.S. waters. But persistent population declines due to pollution, shrimp trawling, and development in their nesting areas, among other factors, have kept this wide-ranging seagoer on the threatened species list since 1978.
Their enormous range encompasses all but the most frigid waters of the world’s oceans. They seem to prefer coastal habitats, but often frequent inland water bodies and will travel hundreds of miles out to sea.
We gathered the baby turtles to protect them from predators and to help release them back into the sea.
The largest of all hard-shelled turtles—leatherbacks are bigger but have soft shells—loggerheads have massive heads, strong jaws, and a reddish-brown shell, or carapace. Adult males reach about three feet (nearly one meter) in shell length and weigh about 250 pounds (113 kilograms), but large specimens of more than 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms) have been found.