Turtle Patrol Report for the Week Ending September 12

On July 13th, we had a crawl up and over the rocks just north of the Beach Club. No nest was detected at the time despite promising signs, and ever since, we have been wondering whether our rock-climbing mama did all that work for nothing. Fifty-eight days later, in the midst of flooding rains, we received a call from Lindy, an island resident, letting us know that she had seen three babies in the grass in this area! Thank goodness for Lindy!

Amanda and Josh immediately went to investigate and were soon joined by Jane and Joe. Ten additional babies were found crawling on the empty lot, including one wading in some standing water on the lot. Ultimately, we found nest 76, conferred with the DNR regarding its location, and helped a total of 85 hatchlings to the water!

Live Stranding: Adventurine aka Doug

Around 5:00 pm on Friday, Sept. 10, the Turtle Patrol was notified that a sea turtle had been caught on a hook-and-line and that the folks that caught it were holding onto it so we could respond. The group had named the turtle “Doug.” Josh and Mike responded and found that the turtle was a Kemp’s Ridley, the most endangered of the seven extant sea turtle species. They determined that the hook was not removable on the beach. A DNR rep came to pick up the turtle and transported it to the Sea Turtle Care Center at the South Carolina Aquarium. The aquarium has named the turtle Adventurine, which is a green form of quartz. Adventurine underwent surgery to remove the hook on Monday, and initial indications are that he or she is doing well.

Adventurine is still a juvenile but a good bit larger than Pyrite, aka Christy, a Kemp’s Ridley which we sent to the Sea Turtle Care Center earlier this year. We will now have two patients to track at the aquarium!

We are so glad the group contacted us after catching this turtle! To learn more about what to do if you hook a sea turtle while fishing, see our article on fishing bycatch by clicking here.

This Week’s Nest Inventories

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

-Submitted by Joshua Shilko

(Leucistic Hatchling Image Credit: Town of Kiawah)