Saturday, March 28, 2020

Nesting Season of Leatherback Turtle

We are now at the end of March 2020 - the time where massive spread of Corona-virus disease is reaching all corners of the world. Human is now struggling to survive.  Travel industry is one of the economic sectors that is severly hit by this pandemic. Millions of people become jobless. 
We are going to enter April. Soon, on the other side of the globe, the nesting season of Leatherback turtles will come. It is the time where mother turtles swim to the beach to lay eggs. They can now lay their eggs in peace. No flashes of cameras from tourists and researchers will distract them. Unfortunately, there are still soa-soa monitor lizards, dogs, crocodiles, and boars that are waiting for them at these remote beaches.
slide animation of leatherback turtle in Indonesia
Leatherback turtle of Tambrauw regency
In Indonesia, there are several beaches where these giant turtles like to come to lay eggs. They are Warebar beach in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat archipelago; Jen Womom and Wermon in the northern coast of Tambrauw regency. It takes around 45 to 55 days for the eggs to hatch. Personally, I used to see newly hatched baby turtles at Jen Womom and Warebar. They were beautiful creatures.
I created a small sketch last night of the hatchling. First I drew fine lines using Staedler 2B pencil and then I made them darker using Snowman drawing pen. This morning I continued the work by creating a digital illustration of the baby leatherback turtle that was trying to reach the sea. I used Inkscape. When entering sea water, the baby turtle, together with his other brothers and sisters, would be welcomed by predators.
Our marine environment now is different from the one some thirty or fifty years ago. There are more wastes. Plastic wastes kill turtles. The transparent plastic bag that is drifting in the sea is often considered as jelly fish which is the food of the turtles. A lot of turtles die after eating the transparent plastic. I draw a blue line as border between the land and the sea. 
The survivability rate of turtles both adult and hatchling is getting lower because of this marine polution. I create this illustration to raise our awareness about the importance of not throwing wastes into the sea. We must create an environment that is safe not only for turtles but also for other marine animals and human. 
This digital illustration of the baby turtle is now available as prints in the form of t-shirt, skirts, leggings, mugs, tote bags, drawstring bag, spiral notebook, and a lot more. You could visit my nature art shop by clicking the following picture or link to order or see this and my other illustrations.
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