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Sunday, November 2, 2014

2014 Nesting Results

2014 Nesting Summary

Nests: 6
  In Situ: 2
  Relocated: 4 (66.6%)
  Inventoried: 6 (100%)
False Crawls: 4

Estimated Eggs to Date: 580
  Eggs Lost: 5 (0.8%)---taken for DNA Study
  Hatched Eggs: 313
  Emerged Hatchlings: 313
  Mean Incubation Duration (all): 60.5 days
  Mean Clutch Count: 102.5 eggs (Relocated Only)

Mean Hatch Success: 47.4%
Mean Emergence Success: 47.4%
Nest Success: 50%
Beach Success: 60%

DNA Results to date

NMB Nest #1---Only nest for this turtle, new to beach, new to data base

NMB Nest #2 and Nest #4---Laid by same mother, both nest non-viable, no                                               eggs hatched

Briarcliffe Nest #1, Briarcliffe Nest #2, NMB Nest #3---laid by same mother
                                           this mother also laid a late nest on the northern
                                           end of Myrtle Beach and may have laid NMB #6

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Inventories NMB Nest 4 and 5

NMB Nest #4 was laid at 8th Ave S.  The mother was seen coming ashore and quickly surrounded by curious by-standers.  Despite the ruckus, this mother was determined and stayed on the beach to nest.  She had been chased off the beach the night before about 5 blocks north of this location.  This short video was taken as she started to nest by some very interested College Kids who did not know not to shine lights or take flash pictures.  Once members of the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol arrive, all such activity was immediately stopped.


Because this nest was in a very busy, noisy and well lighted segment of the beach, the eggs were moved to 8th Ave N, a darker, quieter part of the beach.  On September 25, 58 days into incubation, a small group of tracks and a small depression was found.  The nest was inventoried four nights other tracks were ever seen.  Inventory results were disappointing.   Out of 115 eggs, only two hatched shells were found.....113 whole eggs or unhatched shells were found, all died in early development.  Runny yellow yolk.  DNA results showed that the mother of this nest was the same mother of Nest #2 which proved to be a non-viable nest as well.     

NMB Nest #5 was laid at 18th Ave N, this turtle was seen on the beach around 6:15AM as she finished up the nesting process.  She was watched and protected as she crawled back into the ocean.   

The nest was in a quiet, dark section of the beach but located below the Spring HTL so moved directly back to the dunes.  73 eggs less 1 egg taken for DNA.  One egg was slight deformed, with a tiny spacer egg attached to it.

As the days went by and as DNA results came in, indicating one mother was having problems, concern grow over this nest.  The nest was laid about 13 days after nest #4, a non-viable nest.   Same Mother???  Very likely.   DNA has not come back yet on this late nest, but no hatchling activity was ever seen as the nest reached maturity.  Finally at day 75 of incubation, the egg cavity was dug up and our fears confirmed.  No eggs had hatched, 72 eggs laying exactly as we had placed them, a little yellow, a little more depressed but none had hatched.  Each egg was opened, each egg had failed to develop, each had runny, yellow yolk....another non-viable nest........

Only bird and ghost crab tracks around the egg cavity

Corrina starts to dig into the egg chamber

Soon whole eggs are pulled out

Hole is empty

Counting the eggs

Holt takes a whole egg around to show the spectators

Yellow yolk found in the whole eggs

Wished and hoped for better results, but this is raw nature.  

Thank you Rachelle for your pictures

Fall Outreach

Getting information out about the Sea Turtles is crucial in helping in the survival of these gentle creatures. So many people are not aware they use our beaches, many more do not know how to react when they come across a nesting female or a hatchling on the beach.

Many of the NMB Sea Turtle Volunteers go one step further in their volunteering and help with talks on the sea turtles, participate in various festivals or go to local civic groups with information.

In September, NMB Volunteer, Julie helped the local Myrtle Beach Brownie Troop 955 work on their Sea Turtle Badge. These wonderful girls created a display about the sea turtles, using many of the wonderful photos and other information that Julie gave them. This display is current in the Chapin Library in Myrtle Beach. Thanks Julie and a huge thanks to this wonderful Brownie Troop.


On Oct. 8, Six NMB volunteers worked a table at Ripley's Aquarium's Ocean Bay Middle School Night. Lots of information on the Sea Turtles, lots of pictures, even a couple of videos showing hatchlings emerging from the sand. Many students and parents stopped by and talked with us.


A huge thanks to these great volunteers. And a special thanks to the girls from Brownie Troop 955. Can't wait to go to the Library and see your display.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Inventory NMB Nest #3

Jill found a crawl leading up to the dunes at 12th Ave S.  Quick search, nest is found......because the nest is in the middle of a private beach access, eggs are relocated to 9th Ave S, a darker, quieter section on the beach.  On September 24,  61 days later, a hole is discover.  Hatchlings have emerged either late the night before or before 7AM that morning.  Cold, windy and rainy couple of days.  

On Saturday, Sept. 27, Inventory is performed.   . 
Hole is much larger, starting to cave in upon itself. 

Crowd starts to gather

Talk to the crowd and questions are answered 

  Neal and Marilyn open the egg chamber and start pulling out eggs


Pile of empty shells soon forms

Counting the empty shells

I think we got them all.....

Brooks helps by taking empty and whole eggs around to show the crowd 

This guy wanted to feel an egg...gloves are a must

Inventory is finished...only a deep empty hole remains

Inventory Results:

Nest was found on July 25th at 12th Ave S

112 eggs in original nest, 111 eggs moved to 9th Ave S, 1 egg taken for DNA

Hatchlings emerged sometime before 7AM on Sept. 24th, Day 61 of incubation

Inventory on Sat., Sept 27th

106 hatched eggs
5 unhatched or whole eggs, all died in early development
No dead or alive hatchlings found in nest

95.5% hatching success rate

DNA results show that the mother laid two nests on Briarcliffe, then a nest at 12th Ave S and then laid another nest on the northern end of Myrtle Beach.  There is a missing two week period, so she may have laid a 5th nest, possibly at 12th Ave N, DNA Results are not in yet for this nest. 

Thank you Jill and all of the Segment C Walkers who watched over this nest.  Thank you Neal and Marilyn for helping with the inventory.  Thank you Paulette for recording the stats.

Thank you Julie and Mary for your pictures

Irish Italian Festival

Saturday, Sept 27th, Irish Italian Festival on Main Street in NMB.  Great time to get the word out about one of NMB least known visitors, the sea turtles......

Thank you Sherry, Corrina, Donna, Karen, Mary Ann, Ricky, Stan, Leslie, Lee, and Janice for helping with this event.  The both was a big hit, lots of good information given out, lots of interest about the sea turtles.

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