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

It was a very long and tiring morning for Responding Team Jerrica!  We appreciate all the time and dedication our volunteers provide to protect our beloved and endangered sea turtles.

ATV rider Paul S. came up on a beautiful set of turtle tracks leading to the dune.  He phoned it into the N.E.S.T. hotline. Next the call went out and  volunteers started making their way to the nest site.

Nest 32 crawl and nest site

This nesting spot consists of a body pit created as momma turtle digs her nest and a pile of thrown sand where she hides her eggs.  This turtle was a good size as she left a body pit 290 cm wide.  And the amount of thrown sand was also impressive.  Momma turtle worked hard to hide her eggs.

With such a large area to scour, Paul S. and Cecilia F started digging in search of the egg chamber.  It was Paul’s lucky day, not only did he find this nest, but he found the eggs within minutes.

Paul and Cecilia searching for the egg chamber

The team had lots of wonderful and inquisitive visitors at the site as the team worked to secure the nest.  We love talking to families and sharing our knowledge of sea turtles.  One of the exciting projects N.E.S.T. is involved in consists of placing data loggers in the nest to record hourly temperatures.  Sea turtles are temperature dependent and knowing the average temperature of a nest helps us predict when the little hatchlings will emerge from the sand.

View of egg chamber and data logger

Finally, the team covers up the nest, protects the area with stakes and flagging and poses for a final picture.

Nest 32 Responding Team

But wait there is more… ATV rider Paul starts heading up the beach only to find another set of turtle tracks a few houses away.  He quickly goes back and rounds up the team to investigate another possible nest site.

Another set of crawl tracks

This momma turtle came up to the dune and got caught up in some sand fencing.  She decided this was not the best place for a nest and headed right back to the ocean.  We call this a false crawl.  There is no body pit or thrown sand, just tracks.  Could our turtle have tried to nest here first, then decided to find another location.  Could that new location be Nest #32?  The picture below is a close up of the turtles imprint in the sand at the false crawl location – very cute!

Imprint of turtle as she turned to go back to the ocean

Thanks again Team Jerrica for a job well done!

 

 

 

  • nest number: 32
  • town: Corolla
  • date eggs laid: 08/05/2023
  • actual emergence date: None
  • total eggs: 121

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