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

The ATV driver came upon a beautiful set of tracks and nest site on the 4 wheel drive beach.  He calls the N.E.S.T hotline and reports his find.  A call goes out for responders who quickly assemble at the nest site.  After analyzing the site, the team begins the search for the eggs.  Below is a picture of the eggs at the top of the nest chamber.  Sea turtle eggs look like ping pong balls.

The nest Chamber is found

Once eggs are found, the team leader calls back into the hotline where they assign the nest a number.  This will be nest number 20.

The team collects and records data on the nest.  They measure the width of the incoming and outgoing turtle tracks.  They measure the depth to the top egg and begin the process of adding data loggers in and around the nest.  The data loggers collect hourly temperatures used to calculate the approximate date the nest will emerge.

Four stakes are inserted into the sand to form a box around the nest.  The team measures the distance between each post and the center of the nest.  These measurements can be used to locate the nest chamber should some of the stakes get washed away.  The team also measures and marks where the sand comes up to on the posts.  If sand accumulates over the nest site,  the excess sand can be removed to the level marked on the stakes.

Finally, string and flagging are tied from post to post.  Sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act.  A sign is erected by the nest notifying the public the boxed area is protected and carries penalties for disturbing the nest site.  Now that our sea turtle eggs are well protected, the team cleans up the site and heads for home.  Great job responding team!

Nest #20 Responding Team


  • nest number: 20
  • town: Carova
  • date eggs laid: 07/01/2022
  • actual emergence date: 8/30/2022
  • live hatchlings: 112
  • total eggs: 118

See all active nests