Mom turtle was seen coming out on the beach about 9:30 last night.  She zigged and zagged up the beach a bit. Tested one spot, then moved forward a little bit more deciding that was the perfect spot for her eggs!  She came in on the left side of the picture.  The mound of sand is where the nest is located.  The depression in front is where she sat while laying her eggs and then she left where the tracks are on the right side.

Loggerhead turtle tracks and nest site

Unfortunately, her nest was below the average high tide line and on a part of the beach that often gets covered in water by the end of summer.  The team needed to relocate her eggs to a more secure spot at the foot of the dune.  But first the responding team had to locate her nest of eggs.

Eggs are found!

A lone egg shell was found outside the nest.  Most likely, a ghost crab ran off with the egg while she was laying them.  The team used this egg shell for the DNA sample.  We appreciate the crab leaving us the eggshell remnant.

Egg shell packaged to go to the lab for DNA analysis

Now comes the hard work of relocating the nest.  Part of the team pulls out the eggs from top to bottom and collects measurements of the nest’s dimensions.  The rest of the team takes those measurements and creates a new nest with the same dimensions.  Eggs are placed into the new nest in roughly the same order mom laid them.

Collecting the eggs from the nest

 

This was a large nest with 159 eggs

Once all the eggs are relocated, the nest site gets a couple of data loggers, and is secured with posts, string and flagging.  Below is Response Leader Jeff and his amazing team

Nest 13 Responding Team

 

 

 

  • nest number: 13
  • town: Corolla
  • date eggs laid: 07/14/2021
  • actual emergence date: 9/8/2021
  • live hatchlings: 137
  • total eggs: 160

See all active nests