Turtle Nests on the Beach

posted: June 18, 2020, 4:40 PM

Every morning starting in early May a volunteer rides an ATV down the length of Holden Beach looking for momma turtle tracks. These tracks (called a crawl) show that a momma turtle has come out of the ocean. Sometimes the tracks are washed away by the tides and they are difficult to find. Sometimes a momma turtle comes ashore but does not dig a nest (called a false crawl). Sometimes the momma turtle hides the eggs so well the HBTP can’t find them.

When the rider finds tracks they call out a team of volunteers to search for the eggs. When the eggs are found the team will decide if the nest can stay where the mother laid it (this is called a natural nest) or to move it. Nests are only moved if it will not be safe at its original location. Factors to move a nest include: too close to the high tide line so there will be chances it will be washed over or flooded, too close to a walkway, too high an embankment or too many lights. Nests are marked and GPS taken and the morning rider checks the nest daily.

Photo is of a "crawl" on nest # 26 laid on June 18, 2020. 117 eggs from this nest were moved.
Also photo inside the nest of the egg chamber.

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