Good Morning To All,
This is an update giving the results of our findings and efforts to protect the remaining hatchlings from nest # 21. Ms. Kerry our morning beach walker came upon a disturbing site at 364 East first St about 6: 00AM today. Please see attached pictures. Mr. Fox came upon the nest last night during the emerging process. Kerry, Peter, Deb B and I evaluated the situation and made the following assessment. The nest was laid BELOW the high tide line in mid to late May. Since it was below the high tide line, our morning beach observers did not see the tracks or body pit since they were more than likely washed over by the next high tide. A good thing to note from this occurrence is that a nest CAN be washed over numerous times without effecting the hatching and emerging process. We found 83 perfectly hatched egg shells, which tell us that hatchlings more than likely made it to the water (they would have had a very short crawl even at low tide due to where it was laid ). We reburied a total of 10 potential viable eggs, one live piped egg and one hatchling with the egg sack still attached in virgin sand so the original nest scent would not be present and attract Mr. Fox until the hatchlings emerged again. We shielded the new nest with protective chicken wire and marked it off as a normal nest. New nest parents will be assigned (some have already heard about this nest and volunteered) but everyone is free to visit and help if necessary. As a side note, numerous visitors and residents have offered to watch and notify us if they see any activity during the day or night. We seem to have that same outpouring of sea turtle love from visitors and residents each year during nesting season. This a tribute to what our volunteers have accomplished over the past few years. THANK YOU THANK YOU.
Since this nest was unprotected from Mr. Fox, it is just nature exhibiting the “survival of the fittest”. When we are aware of the predator problem, our standard nest protection protocol has worked fine. Only on maybe one occasion has the fox been able to breach the nest cavity and did minimal nest damage.
Once again, this was another educational situation to help us better understand nature at work, as ALL beach wildlife have a right to survive in their natural habitat.
Thanks and have a great and happy Sea Turtle Day……………………………Deb & Jim
PS.. One live healthy hatchling was released from this situation this morning and was rightly named….MISS KERRY……..
Deb & Jim Boyce
Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Org.
910-231-3139 / 910-231-8539