Trinidad: Leatherback Turtles at the Grande Riviere Beach
Grande Riviere Beach is the location of the most densely nested site for giant leatherback turtles in the world. Every March hundreds of turtles come ashore (up to 500 per night) onto a small beach on the north side of the island to lay eggs and then retreat back into the water in the early morning. Leatherback turtles are the largest turtles on earth, adults average 1.5–2.25 meters (6–7 ft) in length and weigh 250 to 700 kg (550 to 1,500 lb). It’s an incredible experience to observe these giants come ashore in the dark of the night, spend hours digging up a next, laying 70-80 eggs, gently covering them with sand, and then going back into the water. Only roughly 1 in a 1,000 newborns will survive. Leatherback turtles migrate over 6,000 miles over Pacific and Atlantic oceans to their nesting sites.