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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

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