Construction crews destroy thousands of leatherback turtle eggs and hatchlings in Trinidad and Tobago

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Hundreds of hatchlings were saved.

Construction crews in southern Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago carelessly destroyed a dense nesting area of the endangered leatherback turtles, crushing thousands of eggs and killing hatchlings, according to a Papa Bois conservation group.

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The group, which posted the photos on this page to its Facebook page, said the destruction of the baby turtles and eggs took place at a beach in the small town of Grande Riviere. The crews were attempting to redirect the flow of the Grand Riviere River, which was threatening both turtle nests and the Mon Plesir Hotel because of prolonged rains.

“Unfortunately the engineers in charge bulldozed a far greater portion of beach than necessary, and they did destroy many viable nests,” the group said.

Papa Bois blamed government supervisors, rather than the construction crews, for the mistake and  called for an investigation.

The beach is one of the densest nesting sites for leatherbacks in the world, and turtle nesting is a key feature of an ecotourism industry that financially supports the area.

Sherwin Reyz of the Grand Riviere Environmental Organization, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying up to 20,000 eggs were destroyed by construction crews. While hundreds of hatchlings were rescued, many others were badly injured and eaten by dogs and vultures.

Thousands of eggs and hatchlings were crushed.

Thousands of eggs and hatchlings were crushed.


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