Hey… it’s been quite some time. But the good news is: It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to tell. I haven’t written for so long because I just couldn’t find the time and tranquility as we’ve been so overwhelmed by this years’ turtle season. Here are all the details:
The official MEMANTA hatchery is up
After two years working with a provisional hatchery that we had built close to our house, about 200 metres away from the beachfront, the time had finally come: We built a permanent, fully-closed hatchery closer to the beach that holds space for around 50 nests at a time. The hatchery is fully secured against human intruders and all kinds of animals. Also, it is shaded in order to secure favourable temperatures and avoid a female-biased sex ratio (climate change and stuff…).
Unfortunately, the hatchery soon resulted too small. Especially in late September, our hatchery became super crowded as the older nests hadn’t hatched yet while more and more were coming in! Also, we had started putting some nests in the ground, as hatcheries “usually” do it. The thing is that in this case, you have to space out the nests more (the rule of thumb says 1m) so that bacteria etc. from one nest can’t spread to the others. With bag hatcheries, you don’t have that issue and can put the bags real close to each other.
We found that the hatching success is roughly the same for both methods, but bag hatcheries do create more waste and the nests take longer to hatch as they cool down quite a bit during the night. Next season, we would like to keep working with both methods – some nests we’ll put in our iconic red bags and some we’ll put in the ground.
Needless to say… we’ll then have to double the size of our hatchery!