INSTALLATION OF AMBER LIGHTS IN KEYS VILLAGE TO ASSIST WITH TURTLE NESTING

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 15, 2020 (SKNIS): The St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) in collaboration with the St. Kitts Nevis Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) has installed amber lights on the island main road in Keys Village to assist with turtle nesting.

The lights were installed on June 15, 2020, as part of SKELEC’s island-wide streetlights retrofitting programme.

Kevin Fahie of the SKSTMN said that “these lights will be significant because, for every 10,000 hatchlings that hatch, only one makes it to the reproductive stage.”

Mr. Fahie highlighted that “normally when they see these white lights, they would head to the street lights, mistaking it for the surf.”

He stated that “most of the time they fall prey to crabs, mongoose and sometimes other humans.”

Mr. Fahie emphasized as well that it is especially important to install these lights in Key’s Village because this is where 90% of the turtles come to shore in St. Kitts.

Gawain Fraites, Public Relations Officer at SKELEC said that, “instead, the turtles when they nest they head towards the bright light; because the light will be amber, they will be heading out to sea instead, where the moonlight is, hence the reason why the lights in Key’s will be different than those in other areas of the island.”

Additionally, Mr. Fahie said that with the addition of these lights, he is hopeful for improvements in the survival rates of hatchlings and turtles making it towards the reproductive stage of 35 human years.

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