OBX Sea Turtles (2015) – Nest #1
After patrolling the beaches of the Outer Banks for over a month the first sea turtle nest of 2015 was finally found in Nags Head by Tim Moore of the Nags Head Dream ATV Team (there are five NEST ATV teams that patrol the beaches from the Virginia border to Cape Hatteras National Seashore). The Nags Head Dream Team has the southern route. They like to think that their run is favored by female sea turtles. The difference, though, is really that this time of year the water temperature near the southern route may be a little warmer; there are sure to be nests further north as the summer carries on.
There is a friendly rivalry between ATV teams. The primary goal of the Dream Team is to knock the Duck Dynasty Team off its pedestal as the team with the most turtle nests for the year. The Duck Dynasty Team has ruled for two years and is reluctant to relinquish the team honor!
The University of Georgia is continuing its DNA study of nesting female loggerhead sea turtles. One egg will be removed from each nest for DNA testing. With this information we can identify specific turtles, know how many nests they laid and where they laid them. Loggerheads usually nest every two years. In 2011 and 2013 the same turtle nested in Duck, North Carolina. We are hoping she will return again this year. Duck is ready for a nest, but may have to settle for quality rather than quantity this year. Nest #1 was left in situ (that is, the nest was not relocated and was marked where the female turtle laid it).