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

The sun is rising as our sea turtle patrols head out looking for turtle tracks.  The Duck ATV rider is rewarded by finding a set of Loggerhead turtle tracks and nesting site.  This sea turtle was a no nonsense girl.  She came straight in, laid her eggs and went back out to the ocean on virtually the same path she came in on. The area was quickly secured and the location phoned into the N.E.S.T. hotline (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles).  Below is a picture of the sea turtles tracks and nest site.

Sea turtle tracks and nest site

The responding team led by Tony assembles at the site and begins the task of finding the egg chamber.  The yellow rope in the picture above helps the team identify the path the turtle took and the area the turtle threw sand to hide her eggs.  It is there they find the egg chamber.

Nest 35 egg chamber

Data loggers are placed in and around the eggs to record hourly temperatures.  A sea turtle’s gender is determined based on temperature.  If the nest’s average temperature during the 2nd trimester is 84.6 degrees, it will produce approximately 50% male turtles and 50% female turtles.  If the nest reads higher temperatures, it will produce more females and if it is cooler, it will produce more males turtles.  Temperatures are also used to help predict when the sea turtles will hatch.  A hotter nest will develop more rapidly then a colder nest.

Finally a set of stakes and colorful flagging is placed around the nest site to protect it while the eggs are developing.  Below is a picture of our next generation sea turtle volunteer, Berkley.  She is helping her granddad tie pink flagging around the nest site.

Stakes and flagging mark the nest site and keep it protected

Congratulations to the responding team for a job well done.  And thank you to our special guest Berkley for taking an interest in helping protect the sea turtles.  We love the hat!

Nest 35 Responding and Relocation Team

  • nest number: 35
  • town: Duck
  • date eggs laid: 07/24/2022
  • actual emergence date: 9/19/2022
  • live hatchlings: 59
  • total eggs: 97

See all active nests