Leatherback turtle egg found on St Brelade’s Beach in Jersey

June 10th, 2013 by Société Jersiaise Marine Biology Section

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A broken egg found on St Brelade’s beach, Jersey on 6 June 2013 by Mrs. Carolyn Green. The egg was broken by her dog before she could recover it. (click image to expand – image ©Carolyn Green)

On 6 June 2013 the Société Jersiaise Marine Biology Section received an extraordinary report of a sea turtle’s egg having been washed up on St Brelade’s beach, Jersey.

Andy Farmer, a sea turtle expert living in Jersey, looked at the images and spoke with Mrs Carolyn Green who found the egg while walking her dog on the beach.  She kept the broken egg shell.

Mr Farmer said “first impression, I’m pretty sure it’s a leatherback turtle egg, Dermochelys coriacea. From the images and what Mrs Green told me, I would say it is very fresh, only a couple of days old if that.”

“So that only leaves the small conundrum, what is it doing on St Brelade’s beach in Jersey?”

“Marine turtles can discharge eggs at sea which I think is the likely answer. Or perhaps the turtle has tried to nest on the Jersey beach?”

A leatherback turtle egg lies on St Brelade Beach, Jersey on 6 June 2013. The egg was broken by a playing dog before recovery (click image to expand - image ©Carolyn Green)

A leatherback turtle egg lies on St Brelade Beach, Jersey on 6 June 2013. The egg was broken by a playing dog before recovery (click image to expand – image ©Carolyn Green)

“We have had small tides so it could be possible, but highly unlikely,” Mr Farmer said.

Mrs. Carolyn Green also reported a set of unusual tracks on the beach but didn’t photograph them as it did not occur to her while on the beach that the egg might belong to a turtle.

Andy Farmer has checked St Brelade’s beach and some neighbouring beaches for any further marine turtle eggs but to no avail.

The Société Jersiaise Marine Biology Section cannot find any historical records of turtle eggs in the Channel Islands but if anyone knows of any, could they let the section know by emailing: marinebiology @ societe-jersiaise.org

Please keep a look out for any marine turtle eggs or any sign of turtles while walking Channel Island beaches.

 

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