I volunteered to help research the sea turtles at the island called Yakushima couple summers ago. Turns out it's one of the largest spawning beach for sea turtles in the northern hemisphere.
More and more the beaches where sea turtles can lay eggs are vanishing.
The problem is over-development by us humans.
Its usually nice beautiful white-sandy beaches are their home. Ideal for humans to build a beach house or a resort. But just a little headlight of a car keeps the turtles away because they are very timid and careful a mother turtle refuse to land.
The problem is, the sea turtle comes back only to the beach where they were born.
Its the only place they can lay their eggs.
The research I helped was to check the hatched eggs. In September.
Dig out the hatched eggs and count how many and the condition of them.
Find 40 or 50 eggs from one place digging with your own hands is a lot of work. I digged maybe 5 or so places in an evening... and its very exhausting with summer heat...
And sometimes, the little baby turtles stucked between the eggs comes jumping out to the beach. Its beautiful life saving experience!
Baby sea turtles heads straight to the sea without hesitation marching like a toy solders. Only if they are not distracted by bright light in the other direction, which they mistake as the moon, heads toward the light and gets lost.
Or sometimes deep tire tracks left by 4x4 drove on the beach leads the babies towards the road...
Good news is, this passed few years the number of sea turtle coming back to the beach are increasing! 11,300 turtles in summer of 2012.They need more volunteers in early summer to help sea turtles lay eggs securely.
But these mother turtles are the one hatched 30years ago...year by year the living condition is tougher for them to survive.
Our challenge is not to make the situation any worse.
If you have't taken your summer vacation yet or looking for meaningful summer in the future,
Please head down to this beautiful island of Yakushima to help sea turtles. Desperately needing your help!
Here's where I volunteered.
Save them save you!