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Southern Shores is quickly becoming a popular spot with sea turtles.  It is still early in the season and this is their 4th nest!  Below is a typical Loggerhead sea turtle set of tracks and nest site.

The tracks on the left are the sea turtle mom coming onto the beach.  Facing the dune, she digs into the sand and creates a vase shaped nest using her rear flippers.  You can see where her body made a depression in the sand known as a body pit.  She then laid her eggs and used her rear flippers once again to cover up the nest site.  Note the pile of sand behind the body pit.  Finally, she turns and heads back to the ocean leaving a nice set of tracks on the right side of the picture.

Loggerhead tracks and nest site

Because this section of the beach will be undergoing beach renourishment, the nest was moved to a more secure location.  Beach renourishment is when sand pulled out into the ocean is piped back onto the beach.

In moving this nest, the responding team found some amazing and rare eggs.  There were 2 sets of twin eggs.  It will be interesting to see if these eggs develop and how far in the development process they progress.  Sometimes there may be genetic issues which cause malformations, or they may not survive to full term because they are competing for limited resources within the egg shell.  This will be an exciting nest to follow.

One of the twin eggs found in this nest

The Responding Team did a great job relocating the nest.  They measured the original nest width, depth and layout to create an exact replica in the new location.  Next the eggs are gently removed in order from the top of the nest to the bottom.  They are placed in egg cartons (of course) and transported to the new location.  Once at the new site, the eggs are carefully put back.  But the last egg taken out is now the first egg placed back into the new nest.  This keeps the eggs in the same basic order that momma turtle laid them in her original nest.

Below is a picture of the team members who created the new nest site.  The other half of this awesome responding team was collecting data at the original nest site.

Nest 12 relocation team members

 

 

  • nest number: 12
  • town: Southern Shores
  • date eggs laid: 06/19/2022

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