Have You Seen A Turtle Today? 

You can help us track and monitor the health of our sea turtle population in one simple way - tell us when and where you see a turtle! Download the "Ranger Hawksbill" app in Google Play or iTunes (free) and click the "Turtle Tracker" to share what you see. 

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Sea Turtle Monitoring & Protection

Our Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program aims to protect sea turtle nests, facilitate research projects, and spread awareness of sea turtle conservation in Virgin Islands National Park and its surrounding waters.  The volunteer-based beach monitoring program seeks to locate and monitor sea turtle nests around the island during the nesting season, and help raise awareness about how and why we protect these special ancient creatures.  
 
Sea turtles have been swimming the world’s oceans for over 100 million years.  Today, there are seven recognized species of sea turtles; all of which are threatened, endangered, or critically endangered by national (Endangered Species Act) and international (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) classifications.  Four of the seven species can be seen in the waters around the U.S. Virgin Islands: hawksbills, greens, leatherbacks, and loggerheads.  The leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles are known to nest on the beaches of St. John, and the greens are commonly spotted foraging offshore. Loggerheads are very rare, but have been spotted in the waters of the Virgin Islands.

Hawksbill sea turtles comprises the majority of our nests on St. John.  While these turtles nest year-round, the peak of the nesting season is from August to November in the Virgin Islands. During this time, these turtles will return to their natal beaches and deposit between 3-5 nests at 14 day intervals. Each nest contains around 80-200  ping-pong shaped eggs that incubate for around 55-75 days. Leatherbacks have also been known to nest on St. John.  In fact, Trunk Bay was named after the large ‘trunk-like’ turtles using the area as a nesting ground.

Seminar: March 25, 2019

Event: VI Sea Turtles, Before and After the Storms. Presented by Dr. Paul Jobsis, University of the Virgin Islands 

Date/Time: Monday, March 25th 

Location: National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay.

Description: Learn all about the beautiful turtles that make the tranquil waters of Virgin Islands National Park their home from Dr. Paul Jobsis, University of the Virgin Islands.

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