Fulbright update: leatherback season in Antigua

 

One exciting aspect of the Fulbright Fellowship I am doing this year in Antigua is that I am in Antigua for leatherback nesting season! Typically I arrive after leatherbacks have mostly wrapped up nesting, at the start of hawksbill season. This photo shows a leatherback that nested last week in southern Antigua. Though I knew what to expect heading in, there is no way to really prepare for the sheer scale of leatherbacks. Easily 3 times larger than any hawksbill I have worked with, this female was HUGE. She was tagged, but leatherback tags go in the back flippers whereas other species are tagged in their front flippers. This female was last seen at that beach in 2016 by Phikwe Goodwin (who has an amazing instagram account) and other researchers with the Antigua Sea Turtle Project.

Andrew Maurer

I am a PhD Candidate and NSF Graduate Research Fellow at NC State. My PhD research focuses on hawksbill sea turtle nesting in Antigua & Barbuda. Contact me at asmaurer@ncsu.edu.