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

Visitors on the beach called in a mama turtle laying a nest in the wee hours of the morning.  Lead Responder Susan S, along with Jerrica R went out to assess the situation and hoped to mark the nest site.  Upon arrival, the mama turtle had already made her way back into the ocean!

The nest site was difficult to read.  It was very messy, not well defined, and obscured by footprints.  But even in the dark, it was evident that another green sea turtle had paid us a visit!  Hesitant to wait until morning for fear the nest site would be even more degraded, the responding duo began the task of locating the egg chamber.

Large messy nest site of the Green Turtle

Green sea turtles are famous for having very messy, large expansive nest sites with lots of thrown sand.  In other words, they are masters at hiding their nests.  Susan and Jerrica began to dig.  In less than 1/2 hour, Jerrica felt a huge hole under the sand next to where she was digging.  Then she felt an egg!  Success, they had located the egg chamber.

The Team of Two proceeded to establish nest site #16 before the sun came up!  They added data loggers into the nest to record hourly temperatures, collected data about the nest, and set up a perimeter to protect the nest.  N.E.S.T. uses the hourly data to help predict when a nest might hatch.  Sea turtles are also temperature -dependent when it comes to determining if it will be a boy or girl turtle.  An average temperature of 84.6 degrees during the second trimester of development will produce approximately 50% females and 50% males.  Hotter nests produce more females and cooler nests produce more males.

Nest site #16 staked off and protected

Thank you to the dynamic duo for all your late night work!  N.E.S.T. has some amazing and dedicated volunteers.


  • nest number: 16
  • town: Duck
  • date eggs laid: 07/09/2023
  • actual emergence date: 9/9/2023
  • live hatchlings: 20
  • total eggs: 73

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