Turtle Patrol Report for the Week Ending July 30

Nesting activity is winding down, but hatchling activity is ramping up! The Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol added 1 new nest this week, bringing the total for the season to 72. There have been nests laid in August during 3 of the past 5 years, so it is still possible there will be more. So far, 11 of the 72 nests have completely hatched out. Remember to watch your step on the beach and refrain from using white flashlights if you are on the beach at night!

Saturday,  July 24 – Nest 72

Bill and Pat Greubel walked Zone 3 this morning and called in a promising crawl just North of Boardwalk 6. Bill probed the area to find the eggs for nest 72. Sandy MacCoss helped to relocate 101 eggs a little further north.

Live Stranding: Meet “Pyrite” aka Christy!

On the evening of Sunday July 25, the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol received a call for a sea turtle stranding near boardwalk 8.  Joshua Shilko responded and found that an angler had caught a juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle – the most endangered of the 7 extant sea turtle species. This is the third Kemp’s Ridley caught by a fisherman from our shores this year, and we are grateful that a beachgoer contacted us and that the angler kept the turtle comfortable until we could respond. We were not able to remove the hook on the beach, so the turtle was transported to the Sea Turtle Care Center at the SC Aquarium, Charleston for care. The folks that caught the turtle asked if we would mind calling it “Christy” to honor someone special to them, so we will call it Christy, but at the aquarium you will find our turtle referred to as “Pyrite.” The doctor noted that it is one of the smallest turtles they have had in their care (1.29kg; about 22 cm curved carapace length). The hook was removed the next day and they are treating our turtle for mild metabolic acidosis. At this point we don’t have information on how long it will be at the aquarium or if it will be in a visible tank. Send some good vibes to Pyrite aka Christy and we’ll share more information as we get it!

For more information on what to do if you catch a sea turtle while fishing, please click here to read our article on the topic.

This Week’s Inventory Results

Nest 3 was found by Jane Magioncalda and Sandy MacCoss. It hatched in 60 days.
Egg Shells: 106
Unhatched: 28
Live: 2
Dead: 1
Hatch Success: 73.1%
Emergence Success: 71%

Nest 2 was found by Judy Morr, Kathy Hanson and Kathy Thompson. It hatched in 63 days.
Egg Shells: 68
Unhatched: 74
Live: 5
Dead: 0
Hatch Success: 44.4%
Emergence Success: 41.1%

Nest 6 was found by Pat and Bill Greubel. It hatched in 63 days.
Egg Shells: 116
Unhatched: 10
Live: 3
Dead: 2
Hatch Success: 86.5%
Emergence Success: 82.8%

Nest 8 was found by Judy Morr, Kathy Thompson, and Kathy Hanson. It hatched in 59 days.
Egg Shells: 40
Unhatched: 11
Live: 0
Dead: 0
Hatch Success: 54%
Emergence Success: 54%

Nest 4 was found by Jane Magioncalda and Sandy MacCoss. It hatched in 65 days.
Egg Shells: 59
Unhatched: 55
Live: 0
Dead: 2
Hatch Success: 43.7%
Emergence Success: 42.2%

Year-to-date statistics:
Mean Hatch Success: 68.9%
Mean Emergence Success: 67%

For more information about Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol, go to siturtlepatrol.com 

Submitted by Joshua Shilko

(Photo Credit: Bre Bogart Photography)