A shift in the wind brought the warmer Gulf Stream waters closer to shore. Warmer waters also brings our sea turtles closer to the beaches. Last night a Loggerhead crawled all over the 4 wheel drive beach looking for the perfect spot to lay her eggs. That is no easy feat to pull off when you are using flippers to move on land and you weigh anywhere from 150 to 350 pounds.
Another phenomenon we have seen more of this summer is sea turtles climbing up the dune to lay their eggs. Note in the picture below the turtle crossed all lanes of traffic and up the dune to a nice protected area of sea grasses. This mom is not taking any chances with her nest being part of the beach roadway.
Lucky for sea turtles in the Outer Banks, the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) makes sure these nests are protected. If predators like a fox show interest in a nest, we put a wire cage around that allows the baby hatchlings to crawl through but stops the fox from digging into the nest site. On the beach with vehicles, we add a second set of long stakes with reflective tape around the nest site notifying cars a turtle nest is within the staked boundary.
Response Lead Andy and his team of volunteers did a great job. They located the egg chamber on their first attempt and quickly collected data on the nest site. Now we wait while these eggs develop into little hatchling and make their journey back down the beach and out into the ocean.
- nest number: 36
- town: Carova
- date eggs laid: 07/30/2022
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