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Friday, June 14, 2024

NMB STP Endangered Sea Turtle nest # 8

 While the NMB STP Volunteers walking early mornings, they're often are rewarded with walking the beautiful beaches, the beautiful sunrises and meeting new people interested in knowing more as they're looking for a Sea Turtle crawl or body pit. But they also walk on the wet cold rainy and very windy days.  unless lightning, or unsafe weather the NMB STP, Briarcliffe, and no man's land Volunteers are still out there walking every day.

This particular nest was called in the night before, sad as it was, the caller calling in this Sea Turtle sadly had to say," we saw a Sea Turtle come to shore, but people surrounded her with bright lights, and unfortunately they scared her back into the ocean".  Sad and devasting news for this endangered Sea Turtle and could potentially be in peril of her whole clutch of eggs being dumped in ocean.  If she needed to nest and dumped them in the ocean, none of these eggs would survive.   People surrounding her may not realize that it is illegal to shine lights, harass or interfere in any way. This can come with heavy fines and could lead to imprisonment.

 Luckily there is good news, shortly after everyone left as nothing more was to see, she came back up. The caller again called the NMB STP Hotline saying she was back.  NMB STP was on the way while this caller kept all away with no lights until Volunteers could arrive. The area was kept dark no lights and no noise as she was able to nest in peace. 

On the way back to the ocean after nesting, the NMB STP Volunteers were able to measure the carapace which was 39 inches from notch to tip. A pit tag scan is also done to see if she may have been previously tagged.

The nest is roped off to temporarily protect it for the night until the NMB STP Patrol are able to work this nest in the morning.

The weather was not on our side, thunder and lightning is keeping the NMB STP off the beaches, until safe to walk.  A break in the weather, just rain and they are able to go to the nest that was temporarily roped off.  Not much of the crawl was visible as rain and the beach raking had taken much of this away.  Luckily the body pit (nest) had been roped off the night before because not much of the body pit is visible either.

Probing is done and yes, we have a nest.  As you can see from the high-rise buildings in the back, this is a busy beach with many lights. The lights would probably turn the hatchlings towards the artificial lights instead of the ocean. This nest will be relocated to a safer part of the beach.  There were 119 eggs in this nest.

The eggs are safely relocated to a safer part of the beach.  A cage to protect the nest from all sharing the beaches with us. Poles, rope and a sign indicating this a protected endangered Sea Turtle Nest are put into place.

One egg is used for DNA Studies. This will be shared in a national data base, to help with the many unknowns that will help in the conservation and survival of the endangered Sea Turtle species.

All Sea Turtles are endangered, the are Federally and State protected.  Special guidelines, training and permits are required to work with nesting Sea Turtles, Nest, Hatchlings and stranded Sea Turtles.

If you encounter a nesting Sea Turtle, Hatchling, Nest or stranded Sea Turtle in NMB or Briarcliffe areas please call:


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