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Since 1999, Hawaiian green sea turtles have come ashore at Laniakea beach to bask in the sun. The location is a favorite for the honu, with an abundance of algae, a rocky cove protected from big surf and sharks and sandy stretches for basking. Twenty-one basking honu have been identified using passive integrated transponder tags, inserted in the turtle’s hind flippers, it allows scientist to positively identify the turtles and study their movement and migration. Twenty-four turtles have been known to come ashore at Laniakea are numbered L-1 or Brufus, is also known by his Hawaiian name Nalukai. The day that we ventured to Laniakea to visit the honu, we saw Brufus basking in the sun surrounded by tourists wanting to catch a photo with him. Brutus is an adult male, his approximate age is 35-40 years old, his weight is 166lbs and his distinguishing feature is his left rear flipper which is shorter due to a 2004 shark attack.
The Hawaiian green sea turtles are protected as a Threatened Special under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and also by the wildlife laws of the State of Hawaii. While there observing this wonderful creature, watching to make sure that no one crossed the rope surrounding that honu was a non-profit organization knows as Malama na Honu, each day volunteers from this organization are on the beach providing education outreach to beach visitors, they are also there to protect the turtles from harm and provide research assistance by monitoring daily behaviors.
While visiting the North Shore area of Oahu, stop by Laniakea Beach and check out the Hawaiian green sea turtles, it’s a definite must!