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

The 4 wheel drive beach is very popular with the sea turtles this year.  The call goes out that we have 2 possible sea turtle nests within a mile of each other.  The response team splits in half to manage both nests.  Luckily the first nest is a false crawl.  A false crawl is when the turtle comes up on the beach and decides this is not where she wants to lay her nest and goes back out to sea.

Everyone now converges on the second nest.  This crawl site initially looks fairly simple.  The sea turtle mom came in, laid her nest, then headed straight back to the ocean.  On a Loggerhead nest we look for eggs about 2 feet into the nesting site.  The team maps out where the plastron (underbelly) drag marks stop and start again through the nest site.

Nest 24 crawl site with cone markings

The team begins digging straight down hoping to find soft sand which indicates a nest is just below.  But all we are finding is very hard packed sand.  A trench forms along the path we believe the turtle crawled.  However, sometimes it is hard to pick up her path as she throws lots of sand to hide her nest.  So the team expands their search by enlarging the trench area in width.  Team Member Doug finally finds the egg chamber!

Egg Chamber appears as the team widened their search area

The team switches to recording data about the nest chamber, adding in data loggers to track hourly temperatures in the nest, and setting up a protective perimeter.  The perimeter on the 4 wheel drive beach needs to be larger and more visible as vehicles drive by day and night.  We use reflective tape and bright colors to warn cars a turtle nest is near.  This team had a long but successful morning.  Also want to thank our visitors to the nest who cheered us on.

 

Nest 24 Responding Team

  • nest number: 24
  • town: Carova
  • date eggs laid: 07/06/2022
  • actual emergence date: none
  • total eggs: 96

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