turtle watching

Loggerhead TurtleYakushima is an important site for both the endangered loggerhead and green turtles.  Both turtles visit Yakushima to nest on its beaches so a visit to the island has plenty of opportunities for turtle-watching.  The island is the main North Pacific nesting site for the loggerhead turtle with the major nesting sites at  Nagata, Isso, Kurio and Nakama – Nagata being the most popular.  The  nesting beach at Nagata was given protected status under the Ramsar Wetland convention.  

Loggerhead Turtle Turtle-watching eco tours are available over the between May – July.  Please be sure to book in advance as there are a limited number of people allowed on the beach each night.  DO NOT attempt to go on the beach without a  trained guide as you are highly likely to disturb these sensitive creatures during their laying cycle.  If you don’t have time to book a guide, then stroll along any of the sandy beaches early in the morning and you are likely to see fresh turtle tracks winding across the sand.  The turtles lay their eggs above the high-tide line, so please avoid walking in this area over the summer months.  You CANNOT enter the beach at night between 1st May – 31st August.  You can only enter the beach with a guide.

Young Green TurtleThe turtle hatching season is between late July – early September and YES encourages visitors NOT to attempt to observe the young turtles make their way to the sea.  The survival rate is as low as 1 to 5,000 and human presence on the beach during this vital early stage only adds to their stress.

If you’d like to book a YES Turtle Tour then contact YES and we’ll be happy to help.