Tuesday, 1/30/2024

Laura Jim, Marc Rice and 7 HPA STRP students traveled to the Waikoloa Hilton on Tuesday (1/30/24) to capture, tag and conduct a health assessment on resident honu that spend time in the “lagoon” at the Hilton Hotel.  We arrived at the hotel at 0730 and began transporting our equipment to the lagoon area.  We were set up and ready to work by 0845 and Ms. Jim and the capture team began the in-water work. 

Two middle school students joined us to learn about the program and participate in the field work.  They are hoping to be able to complete the training necessary to become part of the HPA Sea Turtle Research Program.


Capture area at the Waikoloa Hilton Hotel's Lagoon.
The area between the two arrow is the lagoon area where turtles reside.  This day, a number of them were feeding back in the area behind the bridge on the right of the picture.  The waterfall, where honu often gather to feed was not running and there were very few honu in that area.

Over the course of the day, Ms. Jim and here team were able to capture 15 honu and we measured, weighed, tagged and did a health assessment on all of them … we were finished by ~1445.  There were lots of hotel guest and interested onlookers and the HPA team did a great job of informing people about what we were doing and why it is so important.  
Of the 15 honu captured, 6 were recaptures and 9 were new captures.  The honu ranged in size from 40 cm (18 lbs) to 66 cm (84 lbs).  
SIX of the 15 turtles were recaptures and we had data from the previous capture so we could calculate a growth rate (cm/yr).