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

Byron, Tyler, Kingston, and Grayson from Hanover, Pennsylvania were out walking on the beach last night when suddenly, a large turtle came lumbering out of the ocean and started to crawl up toward the dune.  They immediately jumped into action and called the N.E.S.T. Hotline and then did an excellent job of keeping everyone a safe distance back away from the turtle until the N.E.S.T. volunteers arrived.

Nest 36

Nest 36 with crawl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once on site, the N.E.S.T. volunteers quickly determined that a very large green turtle had just started the arduous nesting process.  Over the next three hours, the large full moon allowed the N.E.S.T. volunteers and Byron’s family to watch the female turtle prepare the nesting area with her front flippers, dig a nesting cavity with her rear flippers, lay her eggs, and then spend more than 90 minutes hiding the nest by throwing a large quantity of sand over the just laid nest.  They all watched in awe as she then slowly crawled back into the ocean.

Mother turtle laying her eggs. PHOTO TAKEN WITH NO ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS – MOONLIGHT AND EXTENDED EXPOSURE ONLY

Mother turtle returns to the ocean. PHOTO TAKEN WITH NO ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS. MOONLIGHT AND EXTENDED EXPOSURE ONLY

During her trip back into the water, a N.E.S.T. volunteer carefully measured the turtle, and she was approximately 120 cm long, almost 4 feet !!  Realizing that they had encountered a very large turtle the previous night, the N.E.S.T. volunteers measured the body pit the female had created last night and it was 8 feet across and 2 feet deep !!

N.E.S.T. would like to thank Byron and his family for all their time and effort last night.  First for calling us and giving us the turtle’s exact location, and then for doing an amazing job of keeping everyone a safe distance away from the turtle so she could safely come up onto the beach and lay her nest.  Job well done.

The fabulous TEAM 36

  • nest number: 36
  • town: Nags Head
  • date eggs laid: 08/30/2023
  • actual emergence date: None
  • total eggs: 136

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