According to NOAA, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands sea turtle researcher team (Marylou, Alex, and Jan) arrived on French Frigate Shoals on May 30th to assess the number of nesting female green turtles because 96% of Hawaiian green turtle nesting occurs at French Frigate Shoals on East, Tern, Trig, and Gin Islands. Since then, they have identified 150 basking males and 416 nesting female Hawaiian Sea Turtles. The peak of the nesting season has begun and the researchers have already seen 5 times the number of nesting female Turtles compared to the number of females seen for the whole season in 2016. So, 2017 will be a ‘whopper’ of a year!
The research teams return to Oahu, at the end of the nesting season (September) and will bring with them valuable information to determine the number of green Turtles in the Hawaiian population. This data is important for designating whether the species is threatened or endangered so that we can effectively manage this distinct population of turtles.
NOAA wants to highlight one particular Turtle: L2, tagged by Hawaiian green turtle expert George Balazs. L2 is also known as “Hiwahiwa” – meaning precious, favorite – by Mālama Na Honu volunteers on the North Shore of Oahu. Hiwahiwa was originally found alive on Laniakea beach. Continue Reading.