N.E.S.T. is informed about a new sea turtle nest in Duck. Our Team Lead Susan heads to the site as the call goes out for responders to help collect data and secure the site. This year our turtle mom’s are doing a great job hiding their nests. This turtle mom was no exception. Luckily our Responding Team worked together mapping out the turtle’s most likely crawl route. Then the team expands their search until eggs are found. Below is a perfect example where her path was trenched out until the egg chamber is located.
Next the team adds data loggers into and around the nest site. A data logger records and stores hourly temperature data. This data is used to help predict when a nest will hatch. Our data loggers have blue tooth capability. Nest parents can easily download nest temperatures from the nest to their cell phones using a special app. We use 3 data loggers. One inside the nest, one on top of the nest and one just outside of the nest. We can compare the temperature outside the nest and inside the nest to tell if turtles are developing. The inside data logger will read a slightly higher temperature due to metabolic heat put off by developing hatchlings. We added the data logger on top of the nest to see if we can get equally good data without having to move any eggs.
Next, the responding team collects an eggshell for a research study looking at sea turtle mom’s DNA. Her DNA rubs off onto the eggshell as the egg is being formed inside her. This DNA study is with groups from Florida through North Carolina. We are able to use this data to find familial matches among nesting sea turtles. We can also follow where sea turtles are nesting and how many times they nest in a season.
Lastly, our responding team sets up a perimeter around the nest to protect it until the little ones are ready to hatch. Congratulations to Nest 25 Responding Team.
- nest number: 25
- town: Duck
- date eggs laid: 07/06/2022
- actual emergence date: 8/27/22
- live hatchlings: 100
- total eggs: 106
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