Turtle Patrol Report for the Week Ending August 15

To date, 39 of our 74 nests have hatched out and inventories have been completed, including both of our “wild nests” – nests 73 and 74. There are still lots of nests out there, so remember to watch your step and refrain from using white lights if you are on the beach at night!

Nighttime Hatching

DNA Insights

The Turtle Patrol collects DNA from each nest as part of a research study that the SC DNR performs in conjunction with the University of Georgia. This study helps provide crucial evidence related to sea turtle nesting habits and helps to estimate the size and health of various sea turtle populations. As these results come in, we can share some interesting insights about the turtles nesting on Seabrook Island:

Nest 3 was laid by mama CC006108 who has laid 22 nests on Seabrook since 2011 and 1 on Kiawah. Now that’s what I call nest site fidelity! You can read more about natal homing and nest site fidelity on our website: https://www.siturtlepatrol.com/news/2021/7/2/sea-turtles-amp-natal-homing

Nest 5 was laid by mama CC003840. This sea turtle has been nesting exclusively on Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island since at least 2008!

Nest 9 was laid by a turtle we have been referring to as “Barnacle Bella” due to the distinct drag mark on the left portion of her tracks, likely caused by a barnacle on her plastron. This turtle is identified in the study as CC004417 and laid her first nests in 2012. Remarkably, she has never been recorded nesting at the same beach, logging nests on 9 different beaches during that stretch. It is suspected that this turtle may also have laid our nests 21 and 36. We will know for certain once those results come in.

Tuesday, August 10 – Nest 74

Zone 4 walkers Lynda Z, Lori P, Francie S, Pam S, Ruby J and Mary V found a large hole with hatching tracks just short of the lagoon & bird area. Some of the tracks went the wrong direction, but the walkers did manage to get 5 hatchlings to the ocean. Mike V added a screen and pole for wild Nest 74.

To view this week’s inventory results, click here.

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

-Submitted by Joshua Shilko