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Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

Our Sea Turtles

We were thrilled to have sea turtle nests from a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) at our private beach from February to May 2020. The five nests that were discovered in February and March 2020 contained 600 eggs and a total of 269 hatchlings returned to sea in April and May 2020. In partnership with Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, we monitored the nests to protect them from predatory species such as water monitors and birds until the hatchlings emerged. Learn more about our sea turtle nests below. Should you require additional information, please contact us and our Sustainability Manager, Thepsuda Loyjiw (Pueng), will get in touch with you.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

General Information

• Common name: Green sea turtle • Scientific name: Chelonia mydas • Family name: Cheloniidae • Classification: Reptile • Weight: 110-180 kg • Body length: 90-120 cm • Diet: Herbivores; consumes sea grass and algae. Juveniles, however, also eat invertebrates like crabs, jellyfish and sponges. • Lifespan (in the wild): Up to 80 years • Hatchlings period: 50-55 days • Habitat: Ocean; tropical and subtropical waters around the world and are commonly found inside reefs, bays and inlets. • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status: Endangered

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

Our Sea Turtle Nesting Timeline

DateNumber of Eggs in ClutchNumber of Hatchlings Returned to Sea
12 February, 2020120-
24 February, 2020141-
8 March, 2020114-
19 March, 2020118-
30 March, 2020107-
4 April, 2020-92
17 April, 2020-57
24 April, 2020-53
12 May, 2020-31
25 May, 2020-36
Total600269

Sea Turtle Hatching

Catch a first-hand glimpse of our sea turtles hatching and making their way to the water!

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Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

Did You Know?

• The name ‘green sea turtle’ comes from the greenish color of the fat beneath their skin • Our team named the green sea turtle 'Valentine’s' since the first sea turtle nest was discovered on 14 February, 2020 • Their strong, tear-drop shape shell is called a ‘carapace’ and can include shades of dark brown, green, olive, yellow and black. Like other sea turtles, the green sea turtle cannot pull its head into its carapace • The name of a green sea turtle in Thai language is ‘Tao Ta Nu’ (เต่าตนุ)

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

Did You Know?

• They spend most of their lives underwater, where they can rest for up to five hours at a time before coming up to the surface to breathe • Sea turtles are reptiles whose ancestors took to the sea about 150 million years ago. They are one of the few species so ancient that they watched the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct. • Green sea turtles migrate long distances between their feeding grounds and their mating-nesting sites, with recorded distances longer than 2,600 kilometres • Adult green sea turtles breed by the beaches where they were born. Females usually travel thousands of kilometres from their feeding grounds back to their ‘natal’ or ‘hatching’ beach every two to four years, whereas males may make the journey annually.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

Frequently Asked Questions

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

What does the temperature tell us during the incubation of the eggs?

The nest temperature is higher than the sand temperature which indicates active turtle development. The average temperature between days 20 and 40 will determine the sex ratio of the hatchlings. At 29 degrees Celsius, we can expect an equal number of males and females. Higher temperatures will result in more females while lower temperatures will result in more males.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

How can we know when the turtles are ready to emerge?

The sand right above the turtle nest will begin to cave in when the hatchlings leave their eggs. The nest will decrease in volume by approximately 40%.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

How do the hatchlings know how to climb to the surface?

At night or at dawn, the hatchlings emerge from their nest as the air temperature is lower than that within the nest. This temperature difference provides a cue for the hatchlings to move upward to the surface.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

What are the benefits of hatching at night?

Higher daytime temperatures can dehydrate the hatchlings and cause them to overheat. Additionally, sudden exposure to light can momentarily blind the hatchlings. Lastly, there are less predators around during the nighttime.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

How do hatchlings locate the ocean?

Hatchlings instinctively head toward the ocean where the temperature is cooler. Moreover, they are attracted to light which is often the moonlight reflecting on the water or horizon.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

How do turtles remember where they were born?

They learn their home beach’s distinctive magnetic signature through ‘geomagnetic imprinting’. Each part of the coastline has its own magnetic signature which they remember and later use as an internal compass. In the future, they rely on Earth's magnetic field to return to the same location.

Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles
Samui Sea Turtles

Sea Turtle Nesting and Hatching

A documentation of the 5th sea turtle nest on our private beach. Witness the timeline from when the mother sea turtle laid the nest until the 36 hatchlings emerged after a period of 55 days!

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Banyan Tree Samui - Sea Turtles

Our Sea Turtles Mural

To commemorate the special occasion of a green sea turtle nesting on our private beach, our resident artist, Khun Withaya Sriwijan (Dam), created a mural on the wall in front of our all-day dining restaurant, The Edge, and along the main corridor of the resort leading from the entrance to our Lobby. The high-visibility location helps to bring awareness to this important moment in our resort history and gives guests an opportunity to learn more about sea turtles.

Banyan Tree Samui
Banyan Tree Samui
Banyan Tree Samui
Banyan Tree Samui
Banyan Tree Samui

Our Resident Artist

Our resident artist, Khun Withaya Sriwijan (Dam) earned his degree in Fine Arts from Mahasarakham University in northeast Thailand. Following his graduation in 2004, he joined the team at Banyan Tree Bangkok in the role of Artist. In 2010, he transferred to Banyan Tree Samui where he continues to work as our Artist in the Food & Beverage - Kitchen department. When discussing his passion for his work, he shares that he is constantly seeking inspiration from his surroundings and aims to highlight the local aspects of Koh Samui and Thailand into his work. Incorporating natural materials and showcasing local elements are two of his preferred approaches to creating memorable pieces of art. Moreover, he strives to be creative by seeking ways in which he can repurpose items to keep his creations dynamic and unexpected.

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