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

This year’s turtles are loving the 4 wheel drive beach.  Maybe it is the excitement of dodging cars and hiding in between tire tracks.  A local man called the N.E.S.T. hotline around 1 in the morning to report a turtle nesting on the beach.  Below is a picture he took of mom turtle dug in, working diligently to lay her eggs deep into the sand.  You can see her tracks coming into the nest at the top of the picture and also car tracks dangerously close to her.  However, it was the middle of the night and she was pretty well hidden in the sand.

Loggerhead Tuttle Mom nesting on the beach

The responders from N.E.S.T. spent a bit of time searching the beach but finally found her tracks and nest site.  Luckily, our turtle mom made it back into the ocean safely.  The team quickly began looking for eggs.  After widening their search through the turtle’s thrown sand, they were rewarded with a view into the nest chamber.  These eggs look just like ping pong balls and were tightly packed together deep into the sand.

Loggerhead egg chamber is located

Crawl tracks were measured and recorded.  Data loggers were added into the nest so we can collect valuable temperature data in and around the nest.  Turtles, being reptiles, develop based on temperature.  The hotter a nest site is, the quicker the embryos develop into little hatchlings.

Being this is a beach with vehicles traveling on the sand day and night during the busy summer season, we construct extra protection around the nest.  We even add reflective tape and bright colored flagging to let drivers know a turtle nest is in the area.

Final nest site with an inner and outer set of stakes to protect the nest.

Nest #29 is all set and just needs a couple of months to let these eggs develop into little hatchlings.  Once they emerge from their eggs, these baby turtles will dig their way out of the sand and head to the ocean where we hope they will grow big and come back to leave their eggs on our beaches in 30 to 35 years.

 

 

  • nest number: 29
  • town: Carova
  • date eggs laid: 07/16/2022

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