In Botched Eco River Diversion, 20,000 Sea Turtle Eggs Destroyed
Trinidad – Environmentalist say that a local government effort to redirect a river causing erosion has led to the destruction of up to 20,000 eggs for the leatherback sea turtle – an endangered species.
According to reports, government work crews with bulldozers were redirecting the Grand Riviere in a area where people from around the world come to watch the endangered turtles lay their eggs. But someone botched the job, bulldozing a large portion of the river bank and destroying an estimated 20,000 turtle eggs.
Sherwin Reyz, a member of the Grand Riviere Environmental Organization said the eggs were crushed or consumed by the scores of vultures and stray dogs that descended upon the narrow strip of beach to eat the remains after the Saturday operation by the Ministry of Works.
“They had a very good meal. I was near tears,” said Reyz, who helped save hundreds of hatchlings that were uninjured when they were dredged up by the heavy machinery. “It was a disgusting mess.”
Environmental groups were quick not to impugn the crews that inadvertently bulldozed the eggs laying blame instead on the management responsible for directing the efforts of the crew.
One environmentalist told the Trinidad Express that the weekend disaster along the Grand Riviere was “the worst set of destruction I have ever seen by humans on turtles.
Ironically, eco-friendly groups were supportive of the effort to redirect the river because of its impact on the turtle breeding ground but were shocked at how poorly the crews were instructed as to any negative impact on environment.
One group was able to save 500 eggs from destruction but many hatchlings and unborn sea turtles were destroyed.