Network for Endangered Sea Turtles
Sea Turtle Information
● The Outer Banks of North Carolina is one of the northernmost ranges for sea turtles.
● Sea turtles are air-breathing reptiles.
● Sea turtles visit the Outer Banks during early- to mid-summer to lay eggs. Those eggs hatch 55 - 80 days after they are laid. Sea turtle nest cavities are 18-22 inches deep and an average sea turtle nest contains 75 - 150 ping pong-sized eggs. Most adult sea turtles nest every other year or every three years, laying 3-4 clutches (nests) of eggs during a nesting season (May - August).
● Sea turtle hatchlings are approximately 2 inches long.
● It is estimated that only 1 sea turtle hatchling in 1,000 survive to maturity, which is approximately 18 years old.
● Weighing 250 - 400 pounds, adult Loggerheads can grow to more that three feet in length. Adult Leatherback sea turtles can reach the size of a VW bug!
● There are five species of sea turtles that visit the Outer Banks. All sea turtles are threatened or endangered and they are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
● Some sea turtles more commonly visit the Outer Banks than others:
● Sea turtle food consists of mollusks, crabs, squid, sponges, sea grasses, and jellyfish. Plastic shopping bags look like squid to turtles so please be careful that the bags don't get in the water! Many plastic bags have become stuck in sea turtle intestinal tracts causing serious health problems and death.
● Because ALL species of sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act, it is illegal to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, capture, or collect sea turtle eggs, hatchlings, adults or any body parts. Violators can be prosecuted under Civil and Criminal laws and be assessed heavy penalties (up to $25,000 fine and up to one year in jail).
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More Sea Turtle Information
P.O. Box 1168
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
REPORT ALL NESTING TURTLES, TURTLE CRAWLS, stranded/dead turtles, OR HATCHING EVENTS on the Outer Banks to the