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.
• 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
|Date||Number of Eggs in Clutch||Number of Hatchlings Returned to Sea|
|12 February, 2020||120||-|
|24 February, 2020||141||-|
|8 March, 2020||114||-|
|19 March, 2020||118||-|
|30 March, 2020||107||-|
|4 April, 2020||-||92|
|17 April, 2020||-||57|
|24 April, 2020||-||53|
|12 May, 2020||-||31|
|25 May, 2020||-||36|
Catch a first-hand glimpse of our sea turtles hatching and making their way to the water!
• 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)
• 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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.