North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol. Powered by Blogger.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nest 9 Inventory

Nest #9 was discovered by new walkers Ginny and Teressa on July 21. I believe the mother was the same turtle several of us saw around 2AM that morning while night sitting Nest #1 in Cherry Grove. The nest was originally laid in the middle of the beach, very close to the high tide line so it was relocated back to the dunes. 96 eggs were in the nest, 95 were relocated, 1 was taken for the DNA study.

Nest #9 emerged on Friday night, Sept 10, day 51. A depression formed around 9PM and the boil started around 9:45. It was estimated that over 100 people watch this amazing event.

Inventory was conducted on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Teressa and Ginny dug the eggs up with the help of two four year old members, Jackson and Sammy.

Inventory Results:

88 hatched eggs
7 unhatched eggs, all died in early development

92.6% hatchling success rate!

1 Dead turtle was found in nest

1 Live turtle was found still in nest and released on beach.

This was the 9th and final nest on NMB for the 2010 season. The first season for the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol was a great success!

Thanks to Ginny and Teressa for finding the nest, watching the nest closely and night sitting this nest over the last week. After it emerged, Ginny and Ann H. came back to the nest around 4:30AM to find that 4 more hatchlings had emerged, one was still on the beach and headed in the wrong direction. After getting this little one to the water, they checked the nest again around 6AM and found one more little turtle climbing out! And thank you, Teressa, for getting our littlest members, Jackson and Sammy involved in the inventory and the release of the hatchling. I'm sure they will remember this for a long time!

And a great big thanks to all who spent their evenings at this nest!



  1. What a great recap! I just have one question regarding the ethics of re-directing turtles headed in the wrong direction.

    I was watching a documentary on Antarctica where two scientists were being interviewed at their camp. A penguin crossed through the camp headed in the completely wrong direction -- into the heart of Antarctica instead of the nesting grounds. (March of the Penguins style). These scientists did nothing to redirect the penguin because of, basically, survival of the fittest. If a genetic problem gave this penguin a wrong sense of direction, but the scientists helped out the penguin, and it later reproduced other penguins with the same problem, the genetics of the penguins was being endangered.

    Wouldn't that hold true with the sea turtles as well? We know so little about the directional abilities that enable them to come back and nest. If that little guy has 98 eggs (in the future) that all head off into the parking lots instead of ocean, isn't that a bad outcome that endangers the genetics of an already stressed population?

  2. Great Question!

    In our case, we think the turtles become disoreintated because of man made issues, in this case bright lights from High Rise Condo Buildings and Street lights not genetic problems. The one turtle who was walking in the wrong direction appreared to be headed toward the lights of a High Rise, the moon had already set and the lights from the building were the brightest on the horizon.


  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP