Baby Turtles on St. John!

Baby turtles on St John heading to ocean
Baby sea turtle head to the ocean. Image credit: Jennifer Rittenhouse Pruss

Hello everyone, happy Monday! We’ve decided that we need to start this week off on a very high note, and we’re sure it will bring a smile to your faces! We have new baby turtles on St. John!

As you know, we love our sea turtles here at News of St. John. You can see turtles all around St. John, although it is a near guarantee that you can see them if you are snorkeling at Maho Bay on St. John’s North Shore. Well, you’re going to see more in the future because we just had a rather large nest of turtles on St. John hatch … how exciting! And even better, there are still more nests that are getting ready to hatch. I am so excited, and I know I’m not the only one. 🙂

“It is a fun time of year because there are still nests being laid as recently as October 10, Todd Sampsell, President of Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, recently told us.

As of last week, we had 24 nests on St. John this turtle hatching season, Todd said. Of those, 17 were active and 7 hatched. Five of the seven nests were excavated by volunteers, and 421 hatchings made it out to sea.

Now if that doesn’t make you smile today, I’m, not sure what will.

Volunteers monitor and excavate the nests through Friends of the Park’s Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program. In addition to monitoring the nests, the program provides advice to residents and guests on how to interact with turtles. They also provide education and outreach to children in our schools through Friends of the Park’s School Kids in the Park (SKIP) program.

The island’s sea turtle monitoring program is heavily dependent on volunteers and largely funded by Friends of the Park. You can monetarily support the program by visiting Friends of the Park’s website here. In the meantime, here are so more great photos courtesy of Jennifer Rittenhouse Pruss.

Baby turtles on St. John close up
So many baby turtles on St. John! Image credit: Jennifer Rittenhouse Pruss
Baby turtle on St. John sand close up
So cute! Image credit: Jennifer Rittenhouse Pruss
Baby turtle on St. John facing ocean
Almost there! Image credit: Jennifer Rittenhouse Pruss
Baby turtles on St. John swimming
Swim baby turtles, swim! Image credit: Jennifer Rittenhouse Pruss


28 thoughts on “Baby Turtles on St. John!”

  1. Any possibility of posting what a turtle nest might look like? I wouldn’t want to disturb one. I’m usually on island in February/March. Are the nests around in the fall only or year round?

    I just returned home from Cancun and our resort had a fenced in area in the middle of the beach that contained turtle nests. I assume someone is relocating the eggs to this area because the nests were all together in one area relatively small area. (Maybe 50 ft by 30 ft)

    • After a nest hatches they will dig your the best to see how many eggs were laid, how many hatched, etc.Typically done 2-3 days after it’s hatched (depending on where you’re located). If you’re lucky, you may still find a straggler or two in the nest!

  2. Love City turtle ‘baby boom’!!
    Thanks to the volunteers and the Sea Turtle Monitoring & Protection Program. This is what love looks like!!

  3. I’m delighted to see your report, love catching up on St John turtle news! I have a question, why do they need to excavate the nests? I assume it’s give them a better chance at survival….? I live mostly in Jupiter, FL and baby turtles aren’t excavated here, so I’m curious.

  4. If you haven’t swam with the turtles, you need to put it on your bucket list. They are the most angelic creatures to swim with. So gentle and beautiful. They will not disappoint and, to Jenns point, you can’t help but smile.

  5. We snorkeled with the turtles at Maho yesterday. A huge highlight of my life. Thanks turtles for doing you! And Jenn of course for posting.

  6. 26 years of snorkeling and diving with St John’s Green and Hawksnest turtles.
    Thank you VINP and friends for doing what you do.

  7. Thank you Jenn for posting and thank you to all the volunteers!!! Wonderful news! Beautiful pictures! Made my day!

  8. This is so wonderful and heartwarming to see. I’m so happy there has been so many turtles that have hatched. Cannot wait to swim with them!

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