Turtle News 2007

6 - 2007
Hi Everyone;
I am so pleased and happy to be able to tell you that we finally  have our first nest here in Carolina Beach!!!  Mama turtle came ashore around 9:00 this evening, and spent about 1 1/2 hours laying the nest...a great PR opportunity for an awesome (and very respectful) crowd of excited tourists who all hope to be able to return in 60 days! Congratulations to Nest Leaders Barbara and Richard Allinson and Joan Manson!! Barbara and Richard arrived in time to see their nest being laid...
a great way to start the season!

     It was great to have our first turtle nest of the season arrive last night
 (6-11-07.)  It was a wonderful experience to watch the laying process of this big turtle.  She weighed approximately 220 lbs and measured 42" from flipper to flipper.  I walked the turtles path from where she came out of the ocean and back, just to pick up on her vibes.  

     On the way home I decided to name the mama turtle "Naomi."  I looked up her name on the net and found that in Hebrew, Naomi means "Pleasant One" and in Japanese it means "Above All Beauty."  How fitting because the experience of watching her laying her eggs was a pleasant one and at the time she was above all beauty.
     The nesting season for sea turtles is from May 1st. to Aug. 30th. Each morning volunteers drive the beach in search of turtle nests. When one found, the project leader is called to verify the nest and to determine if the nest is too close to the surf.  If in danger of being washed away the nest is then moved, within 24 hours, closer to the dunes.  

     Sea turtles are on the endangered list and fall under the federal protection act.  A sign is posted at each nest stating that it is illegal to harass, molest, collect or otherwise harm sea turtle eggs, hatchlings and adults.  Violators  can be prosecuted under civil and criminal laws and be assessed a maximum of $100,000 in fines and or serve up to one year in prison.       

This clutch of 125 eggs is in the process of being moved to  higher ground.  (2005)
(6-2007) Tracks made by Naomi's flippers leading back to the sea after  laying her nest.  They measured 42" flipper to flipper.  The drag mark in the middle was made by her body, which weighed approximately 220 lb.
(6-11-07) This nest was laid about 50 ft. from the surf.  The following week it rained for several days & the beach was washed away.  Joan is building up a sand bunker to protect the nest.  
Fifty days after a nest is laid volunteers dig a trench from the nest to the sea.
 Hatching usually takes place 60 days after the nest was laid.  The turtle eggs hatching causes the sand to shift which create the depression.  This signals the nest is about to hatch, which could take several hours.
(8-10-07)  Nest #1.   Baby turtles love to hatch during a storm!!!  Although the count varies we guess just over 50 hatchlings emerged after dark.  Thanks to all the volunteers who endured high winds and sandblasting to get these babies to the water.  Because of the lightening we had to leave the beach.  Not sure how many came out during the storm.  Will know more when we excavate in a few days.   Watch the hatching by clicking on to the site below.  
In the Search Box type in
 Turtle Hatching Carolina Beach #1
This is the nest just before excavation.  You can see the hole where the turtles emerged from.
Nancy (Rt.) Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project Coordinator with other volunteers waiting the excavation of nest #1.  Excavation takes place three days after the nest has hatched.           
(8-13-07)  The results of the excavation  we found (by the count of the egg shells) that 119 hatched, 5 unhatched,  
3 were dead and 4 live babies were found and released.  Over all it was a great nest with a good, high hatch rate.
Volunteer shines a red light to lead hatchlings to the ocean.
The last hatchling of nest #1 to make it to the ocean.  
One out of 1000 hatchlings survive.  
Would you like to see more turtle pictures.  Click here:   Turtle Photos & More -

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