Network for Endangered Sea Turtles 24 HR. HOTLINE 252-441-8622

There was a lot of debate on this nest.  Was it truly a nest or maybe just a false crawl.  That means mother turtle did a good job disguising her nesting site.  To err on the side of caution, they dug, hoping to find eggs.  Below is a picture of the crawl and nest site.  As you can see in the picture, there is no clear body pit.  Did she lay a nest and cover it up, or was she just plowing through the tire tracks on the 4 wheel drive beach.

Nest site of a Loggerhead turtle

The responding team quickly assembled on the beach to protect the nest from cars.  Their efforts were rewarded when they found the egg chamber safely buried a couple of feet under the sand.  Now the hard work begins.  First the team measures the incoming and outgoing turtle tracks.  Often times we find the incoming turtle tracks are wider as mom is carrying an extra load of eggs.  Once she deposits the eggs in the nest, her outgoing tracks are a few centimeters shorter.  She is lighter now with all those eggs left behind in the nest.

More nest measurements are obtained, and data loggers are inserted into the nest to record hourly temperatures.  This information is used to help predict when the eggs will hatch and the hatchlings start working their way to the surface.  The hotter the nest, the quicker the eggs develop.  A small set of wooden stakes and string surround the nest site for protection.  Because this beach has vehicle traffic, we also put up a larger perimeter warning drivers a turtle nest is located within the reflective taller stakes.

A big thank you to our 4 wheel drive responding team.  We know it is extra hard work putting up all those stakes.  The car traffic makes the sand compact and hard to dig in.  It is amazing how momma turtle can dig down in this hard packed sand using only her rear flippers.

4 Wheel Drive Responding Team




  • nest number: 11
  • town: Carova
  • date eggs laid: 06/17/2022
  • actual emergence date: 8/20/22
  • live hatchlings: 120
  • total eggs: 128

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