It was a slow week for nests but our collective patience was finally rewarded with a new wild nest. Nest 68 was found by a group of visitors around 11: 30 PM Saturday when they noticed the hatchlings coming out. The visitors were still there and the hatchlings still coming out when Valerie & Mark Doane & Lisa Hand walked the beach Sunday morning. The Doanes were impressed with the knowledge of the visitors. It turns out they had been visiting Seabrook Island for several years and always followed the Turtle Patrol events. Nice to know our education programs are working. There were also 4 false crawls so we know the turtles are still out there. Hopefully, there are still more nests to come.
The Patrol also inventoried 5 nests that had hatched. These nests resulted in over 550 hatchlings headed out to sea. In addition, the nests had a total of 71 live hatchlings to the delight of the large crowds that gathered to observe.
On the education front there was more to report. On Tuesday, July 25th, Turtle Patrol members Joshua and Amanda Shilko made a presentation to the Charleston Animal Society Scholars Camp. This camp is a great event for the area’s youth (ages 9-11) and is among many that the Charleston Animal Society hosts throughout the year. More information on this camp can be found at https://www.charlestonanimalsociety.org/2017-cas-scholars/.
The Shilko’s presentation, which followed a Skype session with the Turtle Hospital staff at the South Carolina Aquarium, explained the purpose of the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol and how each one of the kids at the camp can help turtles in the future. They also reviewed the life cycle of the loggerhead sea turtle in detail and spoke about other endangered sea turtle species indigenous to the Charleston area. The participants also saw several pictures and videos taken on the beaches of Seabrook Island depicting sea turtles and the Turtle Patrol in action.
The presentation ended with some sea turtle trivia questions for the kids. They all received special red filter stickers for their flashlights. They asked many great questions and became instant loggerhead experts! Their love of all animals was apparent and the Turtle Patrol sincerely thanks the kids and the staff at the Charleston Animal Society for hosting Joshua and Amanda.
-Submitted by Gary Fansler