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

A visitor flags down ATV Turtle Patrol rider Mike about turtle tracks on the beach.  The tracks were a bit washed out from the recent rain.  Luckily our trained volunteers are great at finding and reading turtle tracks.  They identify the incoming and outgoing path of the turtle.  Next they determine where  the turtle was positioned when she laid her eggs.  A sea turtle forms a body pit as she digs down into the sand to create a chamber for her eggs.  Once she is done laying the eggs, she will fill in the chamber with sand while tossing sand around behind her to hide the nest.

Turtle tracks in the sand

The Responding Team uses the above information to determine where the eggs are hidden.  These eggs were found very quickly.  Now the team works to collect data, extract an egg for DNA testing, and secure the nest site.  One egg is pulled from the nest to test for the mother turtle’s DNA. The egg shell contains mom’s DNA as it is being formed.

Egg shell is used to collect momma turtles DNA

The Responding Team erects stakes, rope, and flagging to protect the nest.  Now we wait for our hatchlings to develop and emerge.  Great job Responding Team!

  • nest number: 19
  • town: Duck
  • date eggs laid: 07/10/2023

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