Leucistic Turtles

The other evening we had a couple of hatchlings that needed a little rest before they went out to sea. One was Leucistic. Leucism is a lack of pigment. The lack of pigment does not affect the eyes like in Albinism.

These are special creatures to behold!

**This conservation work for protected sea turtles on Caswell Beach is authorized by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (ES Permit 23ST03).

Are Red Lights Better for Sea Turtles?

FACT:  Sea turtles DO see red lights.  The color and wavelength is not as disturbing to them as a white light but turtles do still respond to them.  The NCWRC guidelines state that no lights (red or otherwise) should be shined near or directly on a sea turtle mama, nest or hatchling. Avoiding use of these lights minimizes distraction and disorientation and helps them reach their intended destination quickly and successfully.

Do Flashlights Hurt Sea Turtles?

Flashlights don’t HURT sea turtles. 

FACT:  Flashlights do not physically harm sea turtles.  Sea turtles do not see well on land, they see bright and dark.  The bright white lights can distract them or scare them off.  This can cause a nesting turtle to return to the ocean without nesting or cause a hatchling to wander in the wrong direction away from the ocean.  Keeping our beaches as dark as possible is the best way we can ensure our turtles are successful in their journeys.

New to Caswell Beach Turtle Watch?

Hello Caswell Beach Turtle Friends. As we head into the busy part of turtle season, we wanted to take a moment to re-introduce ourselves and help inform our newer supporters.

Caswell Beach Turtle Watch (CBTW) is a group of Volunteers formally trained and permitted by the @NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), which in case you are not familiar with it is the state government agency responsible for the enforcement of North Carolina’s fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws.

At CBTW, we work under the NCWRC State Guidelines in the protection of the Endangered and Threatened Sea Turtle Species that visit our beach and monitor the nests that are laid. We receive specific and detailed training from NCWRC experts and we also receive very specific directives about what we can and cannot do in our work protecting turtles in order to align with the guidelines.

As CBTW covers the east side of the island, we work closely with Oak Island Sea Turtle Protection Program that covers the west side of Oak Island. These two groups are the only official groups authorized by NCWRC.

We do not have any paid employees or Marine Biologists on staff. We operate purely on donated time and support from our community. Our Volunteers range from retirees, those still in the work force, empty nesters and young families still raising children.

To keep the public informed of our efforts, we share educational information when we are monitoring at the nest sites, and post regularly on our Facebook Page (drop us a hello!) and on our Website. You can also find us at the OKI Farmer’s Market and various in person events.

Our rewards are in the successes of the nests on our beach, seeing the turtle population increase over the years and the ever increasing support we gain from the public. We welcome new volunteers each year!

We appreciate the support of the Town of Caswell Beach, their employees and residents, who work hand in hand with CBTW to ensure that Caswell Beach remains a Sea Turtle Sanctuary!

**This conservation work for protected sea turtles on Caswell Beach is authorized by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (ES Permit 23ST03).

Sea Turtle Embryo Development Pictures

Karen Clark from NCWR presented a training session in Sea Turtle Embryo Devlopment. The following are a few slides that she shared with the teams.