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Friday, July 25, 2014

NMB Nest #3

Exactly 3 weeks since NMB Nest #2 was located,  NMB STP Volunteer, Jill was stopped as she entered the beach this morning by NMB Sanitation.   "Think we might have a turtle nest a few blocks north!" Jill quickly went to the location, sure enough,  a crawl up and down the beach, incoming crawl ended in the dunes.  Lots of thrown sand and uprooted vegetation.  The word spread and other volunteers quickly arrived on the scene.  

Incoming tracks crossed over by Sanitation truck, middle portion of tracks erased by
beach raking

Turtle tracks com-mingled with truck tracks

View of both incoming and outgoing tracks as seen from the dunes, looking toward the ocean

Turtle crawled over sections of incoming crawl on her way back to the ocean

Body pit in the dunes,  dune grass is trampled down and broken in spots

Body pit is probed and soft sand, egg chamber is quickly found.  Probe marks the spot

Preparing to dig carefully to uncover the egg chamber

Sand is soft, broken roots are exposed an indication the turtle was digging in this spot

Yes, eggs are uncovered

Although in a seemly good spot, high on a dune and protected by dune grass, the nest was laid in the center of a private walkway from a rental cottage.  Decision is made to relocate the nest away from the walkway.

Eggs are carefully moved, one by one to a bucket for transport to new location

Dune Grass that was broken or uprooted as the mother dug her hole and then tried to hide the egg cavity.

One egg is taken for the DNA Study.  Interested NMB STP Volunteers are very interested and allowed to hold this one egg

Egg is processed for the DNA Study,  Yolk is released into the ocean, shell is placed in a vial for transport for analysis

Pam shows how deep the original egg cavity is

GPS position of original nest is taken

All eggs are removed from egg chamber and the hole is covered up

112 eggs less one egg taken for DNA Study

New egg chamber is quickly dug with a cockleshell, Pam measures it with her arm

Eggs are carefully taken from bucket and placed, one by one in new hole

Poles go up around the new egg chamber to keep people out

A very hot and humid morning, but a very satisfying morning for the volunteers who worked with this nest

Thanks Pam and Jill

Weeks of walking have finally paid off

NMB Nest #3 is Official

A huge thanks to Jill and Pam, regular walkers on this segment

Thanks to Donna and Maddy for helping this morning

Thanks to Michael for his pictures

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