Friday night we received a call from Currituck dispatch around 10:30PM that a turtle was hauling out to lay eggs. Unfortunately, after excavating an egg chamber, she left the beach without laying eggs. Then Sunday morning, another call from dispatch. This one came in at 3AM but ended the same way. She hauled out and this time left the beach before she even dug any sand. So Monday morning we were thrilled to get a call about a crawl on the beach and when our ATV rider sent a photo, we knew right away there were eggs in that nest.
Our team got to work quickly and located eggs on the first dig. They then removed 20 eggs and placed a temperature datalogger in the egg chamber. The eggs were replaced and the nest was covered back up and we told them we’d see them in two months.
Excavation Update. The nest that keeps on giving!
The volunteers monitoring this nest decided to give it a fitting name “The nest that keeps on giving!”. The name stuck well because of how surprised volunteers were to find that hatchlings just kept coming and coming out of this nest! An excavation was first planned on Saturday night but the turtles must have known the NC Wildlife biologist and NEST volunteers were coming to dig them up because a few turtle heads were popping out of the sand! Volunteers counted 29 little sea turtles when all was said and done so the excavation was reschedule for Sunday night. It was thought that maybe now all the little live hatchlings had made it out but once again volunteers were astounded to find 6 live hatchlings and was required by NC Wildlife biologist to cover the nest back up so more live hatchlings could naturally emerge. Sure enough 4 more hatchlings came out of the nest that night and two more were noted to have emerged in the early hours of the following morning since 2 tracks were seen coming from the nest. So that was 12 more live hatchlings found which meant the excavation date was moved again until Monday night and there had to only be maybe a few more live hatchlings right? WRONG! After a full excavation another 12 hatchlings were found in the nest and volunteers waited until it got darker to release them. Overall the final egg count was 131 eggs and out of those 131 eggs, 105 of those eggs hatched and made it to the ocean! That is awesome hatching success and a BIG THANK YOU to the NEST parents and volunteers who sat on this nest!
- nest number: 02
- town: Corolla
- date eggs laid: 06/12/2017
- begin monitoring: 08/05/2017
- actual emergence date: 08/15/2017
- live hatchlings: 105
- total eggs: 131
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