2020 Year End Summary

• 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.

NestsEggsShellsUHDead HLive HHatch %
1-1417331362 3374017579.2
15-6250971539257448 3329.9
63-65 275 243 29 0 388.4

Winding Down the 2020 Season

Rather than a new topic each day, here are the happenings combined into this one “Winding Down” topic (latest to earliest):

Monday, November 16: End of Season

Gary and I have tried to think of a way to have a meeting but think that it’s in everyone’s best interest to forego an in-person end of year gathering.  I am sending a document that lists the statistics for the year.

2020 has certainly been the year of significant events.  I am so thankful for each of you and your dedication to see this year through with us.  We didn’t visit at night as much this year because of the virus and I missed you.  I missed not getting to know the new folks.  I can’t believe the dedication to sit and wait at nests that didn’t hatch….over and over again.  I try so hard to keep my cup half full but this year was an extra challenge with all the adversities that our nests and teams faced.   Our first few nests took a long time to hatch because of the colder spring, we had king tides, Isaias, more king tides and don’t forget the digging animals.  I said “animals” because I don’t believe we can blame it all on a fox or coyote as we had an extraordinary number of dogs on the beach loose every morning while their owners exercised.  I love my dog and he has my heart but he would dig given the opportunity.

We don’t have any DNA data yet due to the lab being closed by the pandemic. 

Things to be thankful for besides all of our wonderful volunteers…. visitors were accepting of our social distance, we did have hatchlings after the storm, we met lots of really nice folks on the beach this year, we all stayed safe and that green turtle did not lay her nest on our beach October 31st (Cape Hatteras was the lucky beach).

So to all, please stay safe this winter.  Practice buddy checks with each other and as always please feel free to reach out if you need anything.

Thank you for making us be great even in the storms.

Love to all,

Gary and Susan

Thursday, October 29 –The last hatchling for 2020.  When team 1 gathered for excavation of nest 65, a flipper was showing.  In minutes a hatchling emerged and made its way to the ocean.  Inventory results for nest 65:  70 shells and 5 unhatched eggs.

Wednesday, October 28 – A few more hatchling tracks in the runway at nest 65 this morning. 

Monday, October 26 – Nest 65 has hatched!!!  Lots of tracks in the runway and 9 more this morning.

Tuesday, October 20 – Nest 61 is marked as lost.  It was one of the nests marked by visitors but we were unable to locate the nest.

Monday, October 19 – Inventory results for nest 62 – 87 unhatched eggs

Saturday, October 17 – Nothing new.
Inventory results for nest 64: 97 shells, 8 unhatched and 2 live hatchlings.  WONDERFUL!!!

Tuesday, October 13 – HIP, HIP, HOORAY!!!!!!!  Nest 64 hatched!  Lots of tracks down the runway!

Monday, October 12 – Nothing to report

Sunday, October 11 – Nothing but its raining out there

Saturday, October 10 – Nothing to report

Friday, October 9 – Nothing to report

Thursday, October 8 – Nothing to report

Nests 47 and 52 were at or past 80 days yesterday.  The nests were close in proximity.  
Nest 52 was located very close to the surface and had 119 unhatched eggs and 5 more undeveloped but open eggs. Of course a crab tunnel was into the nest. 
Nest 47 was not located….not that they didn’t try.  The hole was massive.  Several teams have had the challenge of trying to find a nest at 80 days.  

Thank you for all your efforts.

Wednesday, October 7 – Nothing to report

Tuesday, October 6 – Nothing to report

Monday, October 5 – Nothing new.

  • Inventory results:
  • Nest 63:  76 shells, 16 unhatched and 1 weak but live hatchling
  • Nests 51 and 56 were both marked by visitors and excavations were attempted today but the eggs were not located.  Both nests are reported as lost.

Sunday, October 4 – No news.  Nest 63 had 2 more hatchlings yesterday evening. 

Saturday, October 3 – No news. 
Inventory results Nest 60:  28 shells, 69 unhatched, 7 pipped, 7 dead hatchlings and 2 live hatchlings. Nest 44 (80 days):  3 shells, 91 unhatched and 6 pipped

Friday, October 2 – Nest 63 hatched during the night at 56 days. Lots and lots of tracks straight to the water. Inventory results for nest 45: 136 unhatched eggs.

Thursday, October 1 – Nothing to report

Wednesday, September 30 – Nothing to report