NOTE:   ACTIVE NEST STATUS will be posted and updated on the www.nestonline.org web site. Under the NESTS TAB click on ACTIVE NEST STATUS.

On June 3, 2017 IT finally happened. Although it is relatively early in the season mama Loggerhead decided to lay her nest in the late evening of June 3 in Nags Head, NC.

The NEST response team was notified early a.m. on June 4 and many seasoned and new volunteers heeded the call.

The Loggerhead sea turtle nest site.

The Loggerhead sea turtle nest site.

Measurements were taken and the dig began for the exact location of the nest eggs. Bobby had the pleasure of finding the DNA egg (The DNA egg is sent to Raleigh, NC for analysis to determine if mama turtle has laid multiple nests and if so where)

For what is known about threatened and endangered sea turtles, much more is unknown. This year generous donations allowed NEST to acquire sea turtle nest data loggers to be put in each sea turtle nests for the NEST managed areas on the Outer Banks. The recorded temperatures will allow analysis of daily readings to help in obtaining information on sea turtles.

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Karen Clark (KC) NCWRC sporting her floppy hat discusses with NEST volunteers possible egg chamber location.

Margaret (left) holds the data logger for placement in the nest. Stephenie (right) holds the DNA egg vial at the ready.

Margaret (left) holds the data logger for placement in the nest. Stephenie (right) holds the DNA egg vial at the ready.

After the data logger is placed in the nest, the sea turtle eggs that were removed are placed back in the nest.

Frances (left) and Susan (right) place the removed eggs back in the nest.

Frances (left) and Susan (right) place the removed eggs back in the nest.

The NEST response team proudly salutes their efforts for the 1st sea turtle nest of the 2017 season by showing one finger.

The response TEAM is all smiles.

The response TEAM is all smiles.

 

Excavation Update!

Volunteers line up empty egg shells and whole eggs in lines of 10 to easily count them all when they are done excavating the nest. Red lights were used during this excavation which is the preferred light that is used on nest since white lights can mis-orient or disorient hatchlings away from the ocean.

 

It was a beautiful night in Nags Head and and an even more beautiful night to do an excavation! The nest sitting team lead by Dennis Pohl patiently awaited for NC Wildlife Biologist Marissa to arrive for her to let them know what the game plan was. The plan was to start the excavation at 8:30PM and the team quickly decided what everyone’s roles would be. The digging had commenced and the team began pulling out empty eggs shell after empty egg shell until one volunteer noticed something black in the egg chamber. After a quick glance it was noted that the team had indeed found one live hatchling still left in the nest and it was quickly put in a cooler with damp sand for safe keeping until the excavation was complete. Any live hatchlings found during an excavation are normally put in a dark area that way they can hopefully continue to reserve their energy since they will be doing a swimming frenzy for the next 24-48 hours! Once volunteers believed they were at the bottom of the nest it was time to get our total egg count and see how many hatchlings successfully made it out of the nest. Our final count was the nest had a total of 99 eggs and out of those 99 eggs, 77 live hatchlings emerged and made it to the ocean! Therefore this nest had great hatching success but before we could do a happy turtle dance, the last little live hatchling, with some help was released back into the ocean successfully! A BIG thank you to the nest sitting team for a job WELL done!

 

 

 

  • nest number: 01
  • town: Nags Head
  • date eggs laid: 06/03/2017
  • begin monitoring: 07/28/2017
  • actual emergence date: 08/08/2017
  • live hatchlings: 77
  • total eggs: 99

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