HONOLULU (KHON2) — The regulars at Sandy Beach may have noticed it’s getting a little darker at Sandy Beach. And it’s not only because the sun goes down earlier now.
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City crews have temporarily turned off some of the lights to help hatchling sea turtles find their way to the ocean.
“Our team has documented a significant increase in nesting by honu since 2020,” said Sheldon Plentovich, PhD, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Unfortunately, hatchling sea turtles can be easily disoriented by nighttime lighting. To help out honu, we can use artificial lighting responsibly by minimizing light, using amber or red-colored bulbs, and shielding light so that the bulb is not visible from the beach.”
Officials believe there to be at least 72 eggs in the nests, the first of which was discovered in July.
Biologists and volunteers put up barriers to protect the nests.
Seabirds can also become disoriented by the presence of coastal lights.
“We encourage any member of the public that finds a downed seabird that is away from their burrow to bring them to a drop-off location or a vet clinic like Feather and Fur, who have been active partners in seabird response over the years,” Afsheen Siddiqi, Wildlife Biologist with DLNR noted in a news release.
Honu nesting season continues through November.