Turtle Patrol Report for the Week Ending July 23

Two New Nests This Week

The Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol added two new nests this week, bringing the total for the season to seventy-one. During the next several weeks, nesting will trail off and existing nests will continue to hatch. Please be certain to watch your step on the beach, especially at dusk, dawn, and if you are at the beach at night!

Wednesday July 21 – Nest 70

Ginger Seabrook and Kathy Thompson, joined by Kathy Kunkelman and Karen Lutz, called in a crawl and a probable body pit right at the end of Boardwalk 3. Mike Vinson was called to probe and found nest 70. The 100 eggs were relocated to a safer area south of the crawl.

Tuesday, July 22 – Nest 71 and Nest 5 Inventory

Zone 1 walkers Lucy and Ray Hoover and Kathleen Airhart had to detour from the beach through the woods to avoid the incoming high tide but were rewarded with a nice crawl near the old pier. Lesley Gore and Judy Morr responded, and Jane Magioncalda came with Cami Duquet, our DNR liaison, who was on the island this morning observing. Nest 71 was detected and the 76 eggs were relocated to a safer location.

Nest 5 Inventory Results

Our first in situ nest inventory of the year was excellent! Nest 5 was found by Bill Greubel, Lynne Madison and Karen Preston. It hatched in 59 days. Photo Credit: Jackie Brooks

Egg Shells: 113
Unhatched Eggs: 5
Live Hatchlings: 1
Dead Hatchlings: 0
Hatch Success: 94.9%
Emergence Success: 94.1%

In case you are wondering what to compare these numbers to as the season progresses, these are our final numbers for last season:

Mean Hatch Success: 63.5%
Mean Emergence Success: 58.9%

Below are the last year’s numbers for the entire state of South Carolina. As you can see, we were well above average last season (and for several seasons before this). Each beach has its own challenges so it’s not always meaningful to make comparisons, but in general, 50% or above is a positive outcome. 

Mean Hatch Success: 45.3%
Mean Emergence Success: 42.8%

Over the next several weeks, nesting and hatching activities will overlap for our loggerheads until nesting tails off in August. Patrol members are so excited to see the first successful hatchlings of the 2021 season and you can continue to follow along with the patrol’s work through our website, siturtlepatrol.com, and our social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

-Submitted by Joshua Shilko

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