We have Nest #2! Our second nest is usually at least a week after the first. Are we on a roll or what?! Mama was sneaky. The Morning Patrol found 4 eggs first, not in a chamber. The chamber was finally located about a foot away! She picked a nice high spot so we won’t have to worry about the King Tide next week!
**This conservation work for protected sea turtles on Caswell Beach is authorized by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (ES Permit 22ST03).
• Crawls > 67 Nest > 46 False Crawls • Nests > 38 Relocated nests– 56.7% (NC 30.5%) ▪ 9 nests relocated from east end ▪ 29 nests relocated above tide line > 27 In Situ nests > 2 Wild nests >Averaged 113 eggs per nest, ranged 76-154 • Nests loss > Weekend of 16 inches of rain, June 11-13 effect on nests 1-16 > Isaias ▪ 10 nests never located ▪ 11 nests had 100% unhatched ▪ 7 nests had 10 or less shells > King tides ▪ Late July ▪ Sept 20-23 • 7291 Eggs > Relocated nest ▪ 4490 eggs ▪ 1608 hatchlings ▪ 35.8% hatch rate ▪ 5 nest lost > In Situ nests ▪ 2801 eggs ▪ 1664 hatchlings ▪ 59.4% hatch rate ▪ 5 nest lost > 3272 Hatched eggs > 2974 Emerged hatchlings – 38.8% emergence success (NC 44.3%) > Lost eggs ▪ 193 lost to fox or animal ▪ 1 ghost crab ▪ 65 DNA ▪ 1 broken in nest ▪ 71 missing after Isaias • Overall 42.4% hatch success (NC 50.8%) • Incubation Days (nests that actually hatched) > Average 56.6 days > Range 48-72 days • Crawls > Average crawl width 35.12 > Ranged 28-42 inches • Superlatives > Latest nest ever- nest 65 on 8/22 > Nest #1 -72 days incubation > 2 nest were laid during the daytime 25 & 43
☺ Volunteers ➢ 91 Volunteers on our list ➢ Volunteers reporting time and travel as of 11/12 ▪ 5900 Hours reported ▪ 28073 Miles driven
I have divided the season into 1) Pre Isaias, 2) Isaias affected incubation, and 3) Post Isaias.
1) Nests 9-14 were excavated on I-day because there had been hatchlings or signs of hatchlings. So all nests 1-14 had survived the June weekend of 16 inches of rain and while success wasn’t the greatest, they were all in the water
2) Nests 15-62 were all in the ground on I-day. Day after the storm some were still marked, some were located by visitors, some were located by animals, some were barely under the sand, some were so deep we nearly lost the excavators, some nests were lost. Some of the lost were washed away. Some of the lost were just never located. Some of the located nests had less eggs after the storm than before. Some of the lost were probably just too deep for us to find. Some were so compacted in the sand that hatchlings were odd shaped.
3) Nests 63-65 were laid after Isaias but nests 63 and 64 were overwashed during the king tides Sept 20-23. Nests 66 and 67 were wild nests that were high in the dunes and survived all the elements.
The 2019 Turtle Season is almost here! Beginning May 1st, the Turtle Watch Morning Patrol will search Caswell Beach for any tracks left by a mother turtle who might be laying eggs. If a nest is discovered, it will be marked and assigned a sequential number, starting with 1.
With the beach re-nourishment project behind us, we look forward to a “normal” turtle season.
The 2017 Turtle Season is almost here! Beginning May 1st, the Turtle Watch Morning Patrol will search Caswell Beach for any tracks left by a mother turtle who might be laying eggs. If a nest is discovered, it will be marked and assigned a sequential number, starting with 1.
Hopefully 2017 will continue the trend of increasing number of nests as experienced in the previous 2 years!