Located on Trinidad's east coast, Matura is one of the largest nesting sites for leatherback turtles in the Caribbean, with the breeding season lasting from April to August.
Females generally lay their eggs between April and May, and these start to hatch from June up until August. Once ashore, the females dig a nest with their rear flippers and lay roughly 80 eggs before concealing them. Turtles can nest more than five times during the breeding season, and it takes roughly two months for the eggs to hatch. When the hatchlings leave the nest, they make their way directly to the ocean.
Poaching was previously an issue, however sustained conservation efforts and anti-poaching legislation has greatly reduced this risk. Each turtle that arrives on the beach is measured, tagged and checked for disease, and data are collected throughout the breeding season. This conservation work is of vital importance as the leatherback turtle is a highly endangered species.
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