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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Outreach continues

On Friday night, January 29th, Corrina, Mary and Ricky were on hand for River Oaks Elementary Pride Night at Ripley's Aquarium, talking about one of Myrtle Beach's greatest resources, the Sea Turtle.  Posters were on display, sea turtles and hatchlings were talked about, the students were given stickers and had their hand stamped with various forms of marine life.  A great turnout, a great time.  
Thank you Ripley's for inviting the Sea Turtle Patrol.

A great LionFish Exhibit

Thank you Ricky, Corrina and Mary

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January Cold Stunnings

The unusually warm weather in November, December and early January, turned very cold quickly leaving sea turtles stranded as the water temperature plunged quickly.  

What is cold Stunning?   Sea turtles that fail to migrate south to warmer waters in the fall develop hypothermia when they are exposed to water temperatures below 50 degrees for several days. This causes a chain reaction in which the turtle's organs and muscles shut down. Often this causes the turtle to float and wash ashore.  In January alone, more than a thousand turtles in North Carolina have been hurt by cold-stun. 
The stunned turtles grow sluggish, which can make it impossible for them to swim out to sea. From Jan. 16 to 20 near Duck on the Outer Banks, the ocean temperature dropped nearly 10 degrees to about 43 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach volunteered to help 8 juvenile Green Sea Turtles.  The eight green sea turtles were found washed up on the NC Beaches in the Pamlico Sound area around January 13th. These sea turtles are around the size of a dinner plate.  They needed a temporary home with nice warm water until the coastal waters warm up.
On January 21st, the North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol was asked to help transport the 8 turtles from Morehead City, NC to Myrtle Beach.  This transport involved a 3 car event, one car transported from Morehead City to North of Wilmington, NC, another car transported to Supply, NC where the NMB STP took over and transported the rest of the way to Myrtle Beach, SC.  The eight turtles were contained in large cardboard boxes, two to a box.  The turtles arrived at Ripley's offsite facility around 2:30 PM and were quickly evaluated by Ripley's Animal Husbandry staff and released in a large, warm tank.

Follow these turtles on Ripley's Facebook page:

Some pictures: Ripley's Aquarium, Myrtle Beach

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 2015 Stranding

Just when I thought I could clean out the turtle equipment from the back of my car, a call comes in from DNR. Two fishermen have picked up a stranded turtle, south side of the Little River Jetties, floating in about 20 feet of water. Evan and Tom brought the turtle into the Johnny Causey Boat Landing off Little River Neck Road where Rob and I met them. Poor turtle had been sick a while, very emaciated, sunken neck and plastron, soft tissue covered with small barnacles. It just could not hold on any longer. Fresh dead, very little decomposition, little odor...

A huge thanks to Evan and Tom for taking the time to stop and pick up this turtle.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Results 2015 Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Briarcliffe Beach

Nests: 9
  In Situ: 5
  Relocated: 4 
  Inventoried: 9 
False Crawls: 6

Estimated Eggs to Date: 1122
  Eggs Lost: 11 
  Hatched Eggs: 976
  Emerged Hatchlings: 964
  Mean Incubation Duration (all): 53.1 days
  Mean Clutch Count: 125 eggs
Mean Hatch Success: 87.2%
Mean Emergence Success: 86.1%
Nest Success: 100%

DNA Results:

Mother #1.....3 nests, all on the Briarcliffe Beach.  Data shows the last time she nested was in 2010, 2 nests again on Briarcliffe.   5 year Nester

Mother #2.....Mother started out on the northern end of Myrtle Beach with one nest, then moved to Biarcliffe with 4 nests.  In 2012 she laid 4 nests, all on Briarcliffe.  3 year Nester

Mother #3.....Mother laid one nest on Briarcliffe and then went south to Cape Romain where she laid two more nests.  First year data was recorded for this mother.

Mother #4.....A traveler, she started out with 2 nests in the Litchfields, came to Briarcliffe for one nest and then ended up at Huntington Beach State Park, 4 nests total for the season.   A two year nester, she laid 5 nests in 2011, 4 south of Myrtle Beach and the last on North Myrtle Beach.  In 2013, 3 nests were recorded for this mother, all in the Litchfields.

North Myrtle Beach

Nests: 8

Nest relocated from MB:  1

  In Situ: 2
  Relocated: 7
  Inventoried: 9
False Crawls: 7

Estimated Eggs to Date: 1119
  Eggs Lost: 12
  Hatched Eggs: 966
  Emerged Hatchlings: 963
  Mean Incubation Duration (all): 53 days
  Mean Clutch Count:   127

Mean Hatch Success: 88.9%
Mean Emergence Success: 87.8%

Nest Success: 100%

DNA Results:

Mother #1....Three nests, starting with one very large nest of 176 eggs on NMB, she then laid two more nests, both on Sunset Beach in NC.  A 2 year nester, in 2011 she laid 2 nests, one on SUnset Beach, one on Ocean Isle Beach, in 2013 She laid 4 nests, 3 on Sunset Beach, one on Ocean Isle Beach.

Mother #2.....4 nests, all in Cherry Grove.   A two year nester, in 2011 she started out in Debidue with one nest, than went to MB State Park for one nest and ended up on NMB, 3 nests Total.  In 2013 she laid 3 nests, all on NMB.

Mother #3....4 nests, a real traveler, this mother started in Garden City, went to Masonboro Island, just south of Wilmington, NC, came back south to NMB for one nest and then ended on Pawleys. A two year nester, this turtle nested in 
2012 starting on Bald Head Island, NC and ending on Pawleys.  

Mother #4 and #5....To Date no data on these mothers.   

Sunday, November 29, 2015

NMB Sea Turtle Patrol Christmas Tree

Mary organized The first annual NMB Historical Museum's Holiday Wonderland with a collection of trees from various NMB Groups.  The North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol sponsored one of the trees, many sea turtle patrol volunteers either donated store bought ornaments or made ornaments, all reflecting the Sea Turtle or Sea Life theme.

Mary Ann and Linda making ornaments out of shells

Mary busy with ornaments

Stan putting up the tree


Did not take long to decorate

Preview of the wonderland

A huge thanks to Mary and Stan

A big thanks to NMB Historical Museum

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