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Monday, August 24, 2015

Inventory.....NMB Nest #6

NMB Nest #6 was laid around 58th Ave N, June 28th.  As NMB STP Volunteers Stephen and Melinda started their weekly Sunday morning walk,  they saw a fox digging in the sand, midway down the beach.  A turtle crawl was also visible,  leading up to where the fox was.  They ran up to the body pit, chasing the fox away.  Egg chamber was quickly found by following the digging of the fox, one egg was cracked, and an additional egg was found, abandoned on the beach, up closer to the dunes.  Both shells were used for the DNA sample.

116 eggs were moved to a protected dune area at 59th Ave N.  After contacting, SC Department of Natural Resources, permission was granted to put a cage over the egg cavity as protection from further fox interest.   During the incubation time, fox tracks were seen very often, walking near the cage, checking things out.....

Late Monday night, August 17th, day 50 of incubation, a hole appears near the egg cavity and within an hour the mass exit of hatchlings took place.  Most ran straight to the ocean although a few stragglers seemed to get disorientated by the lights of a multi-story condo complex, the first three floors being an open and brightly lit parking garage.  These few hatchlings turned from the water's edge and headed back up toward the lights.  One hatchling made it all the way up to the side of the condo and was headed toward the street.

Holes do matter on the beach.  One hatchling was being watched as it crawled toward the ocean when it completely disappeared.  Search of the area where the hatchling was last seen, a hole made by a beach umbrella was found and the hatchling was at the bottom of the hole, about 12 inches down.  The hatchling was recovered from the hole and set on it's way to the water.........

Nest early in the evening, May 17th

 Nest on August 18th, after the emergence


Sand has started to fill in the hole

Crowd gathers

Talk about the sea turtles and what to expect during the inventory

Stephen and Hannah dig up the egg chamber
First egg shell is quickly found and shown

Maddy shows crowd a whole egg and a hatched egg

Counting the eggs, making sure all shells have 
been pulled from the egg chamber

Maddy and Corrina pack up the poles, Nest #6 is now history

Inventory Results;

118 eggs laid by the mother

2 eggs destroyed by fox, used for DNA

116 moved to Dunes at 59th Ave N

100 Hatched eggs

16 whole or unhatched, all appeared to died in early development

no live or dead hatchings

86.21% hatching success rate 

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