Monitoring Sea Turtle Nest #3
by Jackie Orsulak
: 22 July Update
We now have our fourth loggerhead nest in Duck, North Carolina for Summer 2011. This turtle had to run an obstacle course to complete her mission. Frequently visitors to our beaches dig large, deep holes in the sand. There is a Duck ordinance against digging deep holes that also requires visitors to fill all holes before leaving the beach. Someone did not do this on the night of 21 July 2011, and as a result a female turtle fell in a hole on the way to deposit her eggs on the beach.
Luckily, she was able to climb out and build her nest close to the dune area. Sea turtles can see very well in the ocean, but it is more difficult for them to see on land. This turtle was able to save herself. Many do not because turtles cannot back out once they are in a deep hole.
We realize digging holes in the sand is a part of some visitorsí vacations, but they must use common sense regarding the depth and size of the hole, maintain a watch over the hole at all times and completely fill the hole before exiting the beach.
A deep hole is hazardous in many other ways. It can collapse a kill any people in the hole. Even if the personís head is not buried, the weight of the sand on his or her chest prevents that person from breathing. It is very difficult to quickly get people out of the sand. Also, at night, a beach walker can fall in an unnoticed hole and be hurt or killed. ATV drivers have accidently driven into holes.
Please do not dig deep holes on the beach, and definitely fill in all of the holes you dig before exiting the beach. You will not only save an endangered species, you could save the life of one of your own species!
We think this female turtle may have been the same turtle that laid Nest #5 and Nest #11. There is a drag line from a barnacle on a flipper in each of these crawls. DNA testing will tell us for sure. Each nest makes the DNA research now underway that much more compelling.
: 4 August Update - Nests 1 and 2 Hatch!
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
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