Park Chief Natthawat Nuisriram told The Phuket News that his officers received a call at about 5am from a local villager who reported finding turtle tracks in the sand at the small beach, at Ao Sai Kru on the headliand immediately south of Nai Yang.
“We went to see the tracks in the sand, and we estimate that the turtle measured only about 35cm across, which is a small turtle,” Mr Natthawat said.
“We dug through the sand and finally found the nest at about 6am. There were 123 eggs and all them appeared to be good condition, but at this stage we don’t know what species of turtle laid them,” he added.
Park Chief Natthawat had the eggs moved to a site on Nai Yang Beach where they are protected by an enclosure and officers can watch over them.
“It is safer for the eggs. Sea water could reach the area where they were laid and it would have been difficult for our officers to take care of them,” he said.
Mr Natthawat said he expected the eggs to hatch n about 50 days.
“If anyone sees a turtle laying eggs on a beach, please call us at 076-679134 or call me directly at 081-9685725,” he said.
Mr Natthawat confirmed that the the reward for finding the turtle nest will be honoured.
“However, the two villagers who were together when they found the turtle tracks have yet to settle a disagreement over who saw the tracks first,” he said.
Prarop Plang Ngan, Chief of Phuket Marine National Park Operation Center 2 located at Sirinath National Park, last November announced a B20,000 reward for anyone who first reports finding a leatherback sea turtle’s nest or a leatherback sea turtle laying eggs.
A B10,000 is to be given for other kinds of sea turtle, Mr Prarop said. (See story here.).
The reward for reporting turtle nests initially applied to only certain beaches in Phuket and Phang Nga that are known to be preferred locations for turtles to lay eggs, but the reward was later extended to apply to other local beaches, Mr Prarop later confirmed. (See story here.)