If you didn’t already know, the original name given to the Cayman Islands was “Las Tortugas,” referencing the large number of turtles that were present on the islands upon its discovery in 1503. Comparatively, sea turtles are now an endangered species in the Cayman Islands! Even though we no longer have a huge population of wild sea turtles, the species is still extremely important in Cayman’s culture.
Every year from May to November, there is a turtle nesting season that the island takes very seriously. The Department of Environment within our national government manages the nests, eggs, and releases back into the ocean. It is quite a spectacle to witness, so if you ever have a chance to experience a baby turtle hatching and release, make sure you wake up early to do so!
With the sea turtles being endangered, it is especially important to protect the nests and eggs, providing an environment that is safe and viable for the female turtles to carry out the entire process. This relies on the cooperation of all residences, buildings, and businesses along the beaches of Cayman. Plantana is actually a turtle nesting site and we have been known to have a few nests present right on our beach throughout the years!
Through the last year that the island has been closed to overseas short-term guests, Plantana has been working closely with the Department of Environment to produce a plan to install all new turtle-friendly lighting throughout the property. Our pool lights, beach lights, and walkway lights may all look different the next time you’re at Plantana! Keeping our guests safety in mind, there will be no loss of illumination, but picture a warm glow in certain orange-tinted hues throughout the pool and beach areas at night. With our transition to becoming a turtle-friendly property, we hope it can contribute to the success of the turtle monitoring program along Seven Mile Beach.
There is still about 6 months left in the turtle nesting season for 2021, and we sure hope you’ll be able to see some of the magic for yourself!