Plastic Bags Fool Turtles Into Hunting Them
The researchers constructed a fence around all of the turtle nests that they were able to identify. They then collected the hatchlings as they emerged from their eggs.
Each collected baby turtle was marked so that they can be easily identified in future surveys. Data from such recaptured turtles helps conservationists to calculate dispersal patterns and survival rates.
Unfortunately, only a small number of the turtles reach adulthood.
Baby turtles turn out to be tasty and easy snacks for many predators. In fact, the evolutionary reason for the mass hatching is to overwhelm these natural predators with sheer volume. Some baby turtles are invariably snatched and eaten, but while that's happening, siblings of the victims can continue to make their way down to the river.
Sea Turtles Find Shelter in U.S. Park
Other turtles, such as the Olive Ridley and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, hatch in a similar "en masse" way for the same reasons.
Here's footage of Olive Ridley sea turtles nesting along the Bay of Bengal: