The hatchlings begin their swim out to open waters
Once back in the waters near their nesting beach, the turtles mate.
An adult female turtle comes ashore and lays a clutch of about 120 eggs before returning to the sea. About 2 weeks later she will come ashore and lay another clutch. She can lay up to 3-5 times each breeding season.
Approximately 60 days after being laid, the eggs hatch and the baby turtles, known as hatchlings, emerge and commence their arduous and dangerous trip to the ocean.
For the first 5-10 years the baby turtles drift on the ocean currents feeding close to the surface on plankton, seaweed, insects and small crustaceans.
When their shells reach about the size of a dinner plate, turtles move from the open ocean to feeding grounds in coastal waters.
At the end of the breeding season, the turtles return to their feeding grounds and the circle of life commences all over again.
The Circle of Life
Female turtles generally mature between 20 – 40 years of age. On maturity they commence the first of a lifetime of breeding migrations that take them back to the area where they hatched. Depending on the distance between their feeding and nesting grounds, Green and Loggerhead turtles may swim over 2500 kilometres during these breeding migrations, with the female turtles breeding every 2-6 years.