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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inventory, Nest #16, Briarcliffe Beach at the Crossover

July 11th, Carla calls in to report a turtle crawl on the Briarcliffe Beach, near the Crossover.

Rob repsonds to the call and quickly finds the egg cavity.  Nest is located high up on the beach, very close to the dunes and appears to be safe from any high tides.

NMB Nest #16--Thank you Carla and Don!!

46 days later, Hurricane Irene passes by the SC coast producing extremely high tides and high, pounding waves.   It is reported that this nest has been washed over several times by the high tides.

No signs of any emergence.....  Day 50, Day 60 and then Day 70 pass.  After waiting the required 75 days,  Nest is dug up and inventoried on  Day 77,  Sept. 26.

Sand had accummulated around the cage.

Larry was anxious to get into the egg cavity to see what had happened.

Larry, Pat and Chelsea, a Marine Science student from Coastal Carolina, had to remove layers of sand before finding the egg cavity.

Finally,  there's an egg!!

Bad news as all had expected.  Handfulls of unhatched eggs were brought out.

But, a nice hole dug by mother.

Chelsea helped open the unhatched eggs.  This egg died in late development, perfectly formed hatchling still in the shell.

Per the post-season marine turtle nesting and stranding update for South Carolina released by SCDNR on September 27, 2011: 
"Hurricane Irene passed the beaches of South Carolina on August 26, 2011. While the majority of South Carolina residents were not severely affected by the storm, the sea turtle nests that were still incubating were significantly affected. Preliminary counts indicate that 50% of the nests (379) that were still incubating were lost." 

Thank you Don and Carla for calling in the nest.  Thank you Larry, Cindy, Pat, Judy, Laura, Jay, Sandy, the students from Coastal Carolina and all the others from Briarcliffe who watched this nest for over two weeks, hoping to catch a glimpse of the hatchlings.  Thank you Chelsea for coming and helping inventorying the nest.  I know all were very disappointed.  

Inventory Results:

Nest #16,  July 11

High tides from Hurricane Irene washed over the nest on August 26, Day 46
No evidence of an emergence was ever reported

Day 77, Sept 26, Nest is dug up and contents inventoried

96 eggs found in nest
1 egg shell was empty-hatched
95 unhatched eggs were found of which 4 died in early development, 82 died in late development and 9 died during hatching.
1 dead hatchling was found in the nest, 0 live hatchlings were found.
1 egg was taken from nest on July 11 for DNA Study
Total number of eggs laid- 97

0% hatchling success rate!!

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