Turtle Patrol Weekly Summary 9/4/16

Many of you already know that female loggerhead turtles lay two to four nests a summer and then wait a couple of years to lay nests again.

But did you know that we send the DNA of one of the eggs in each nest to the Department of Natural Resources?  They do DNA testing, to find out where and how often the mama turtles have laid their nests.

Judy Morr put together a synopsis of the travels of the first few mamas of the year.

“Our favorite mama, CC000530 is back!  She has laid nests 1 and 12 this year.  So far she has been identified as mama for 19 nests with 17 being on Seabrook and the others on Kiawah.

Nest 2 was also returning mama CC002058 who has laid 11 nests with 10 on Seabrook and the other on Kiawah.

Nest 3 is new mama to Seabrook but she has laid 8 previous nests in prior years on Wassaw, Hunting Island State Park, Kiawah and Edingsville Beach.

Nest 4 took a long break since her only other nest was in 2012 on Folly.

The mama for nest 5 previously nested in 2013 at Cape Lookout in Outer Banks.

Nest 6 was returning mama CC000570 who has laid 14 nests, the last 9 on Seabrook after laying her earlier ones all on Kiawah.

Nest 8 was CC002043’s ninth nest, with the last 3 being on Seabrook. Prior to that she laid on Hunting Island, Kiawah and Pritchard

Nest 9 mama CC006469 had two prior nests in 2013 on Folly and Kiawah.

Nest 10 mama who briefly hid her nest from us, has since laid a nest on Lighthouse Island. In 2013 she laid one nest on Fripp.

Nest 14 mama CC005131 has 5 nests, all on Seabrook. The other 4 were in 2012.

Nest 15 mama CC002055 has laid 9 nests with the last two being on Seabrook after laying her earlier ones (in 2011 and 2013) on Kiawah.

Nest 16 mama CC004832 laid 6 prior nests in 2012 on Pritchard, Wassaw, then 4 on Botany Bay.”

Now for our weekly summary:

Monday, August 29 – Zone 1: Kathy and Ron Chamberlain along with Nancy Shenton called with a potential wild nest all the way to end. Tides prevented the vehicle from getting on the beach so the Nelsons made the long walk to check it out while the walkers proceeded to dig for a nest. 3 or 4 egg shells were encountered but unfortunately no nest. A sample was taken just in case but it is thought to likely be the remains of a few eggs put back in some inventoried nest. Beautsie will check against inventories in that area to look for potential source. If none found, the sample will be submitted.

Zone 2: No activity.

Zone 3: Nest 51 and 52 had raccoon paw prints nearby. Nest 56 had a depression.

Zone 4: Removed sand build up on Nest 57. No activity on Nest 48 so hopefully any remaining babies will wow the crowd at the inventory.

Tuesday, August 30 – I got a call last night from an excited Joshua and Amanda Shilko, They were bummed out about missing the inventory of their nest that morning but as they were walking off the beach last night they got to see the boiling of nest # 50. They were ecstatic. Said that made up for missing the morning. There’s a great video of the boil on Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol’s Facebook page. Here’s the link. “https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsiturtlepatrol%2Fvideos%2F201888333559548%2F&show_text=0&width=560

You will see the pictures in Zone 3’s report. And if you have a question as to what a boil is and looks like look at the picture of the tracks coming out of # 52. That is a boil!

All the zones commented on the extra high tides.

Zone 1 everyone is sleeping.

Zone 2 # 56 has a crab hole and raccoon tracks around it.

Zone 3 # 50 and 52 had holes and lots of tracks out. See picture.IMG_2763
# 51 had an indentation
# 59 had crab hole and shell pieces
# 51 and 52 had raccoon tracks around them

Zone 4 # 57 removed sand and softened it
all but 1 pink flag are gone and it has been over washed several times.
It was hard to walk with the high tide and the millions of birds at the end of the zone.


Wednesday, August 31 – neither rain nor high tide………. as Tracy Thorne wrote on her report

Zone 1- #58 undisturbed, #47 had an indentation

Zone 2-  no tracks because if the rain

Zone 3- #59 crab hole. filled, pieces of shell removed, flies

Zone 4-  did not walk

Thursday, September 1 –  September has started with a quiet, dry morning.

Zone 1: No activity

Zone 2: Nest 56 has a big hole but no tracks. Crab?

Zone 3: Reported significant erosion by Boardwalk 6 with a high tide. Nest 50 had a slight indentation. Unfortunately the crab is back at Nest 59 and left more shells which were removed.

Zone 4: Soft sand and high tides made for a tough walk. No activity at one remaining nest nor the pink flags.

Stay safe and dry!

Friday, September 2 – Because of Tropical Storm Hermine, all Friday walkers were asked to stay off of the beach.

Saturday, September 3 – The storm didn’t hurt any of our nests.

Zone 1- #58 hard, will soften it tonight at PHAT when they have a hammer.  #47 has a big dip and is soft.

nest 56 9-3-16Zone 2-  #56 has a huge hole by a raccoon which bent the screen with egg shells on top, put sand in the hole. See photo.

Zone 3- softened all the nests. #59 has huge hole and flies

Zone 4-  gorgeous morning.  All clear and quiet.

Sunday, September 4 – We will include today’s report with next week’s report.


Submitted by Gary Fansler, Beautsie Zahrn, Terry Fansler and Judy Morr

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