Living close to the beach and being quarantined at home, I have taken a real interest in learning more about my surroundings! What better way to learn about Sea turtles than adopting a nest. Not only does it help with conservation, but provides necessary funds desperately needed right now for further conservation. (link below to adopt a nest in my area)
Upon adopting the nest I was sent a Sea Turtle Certificate of Adoption telling me where the nest was located at. Each nest is tagged with a number which is recorded and photographed for further study. The nest I adopted was laid on June 10, 2020 by a loggerhead sea turtle. The certificate told me the nest would hatch in approximately 55 days and afterwards I would be sent the results.
When the nest is getting close to the time to hatch a board with a pink ribbon is put on the North side of the nest, once the nest hatches then they move the board to the South side until they have time to excavate and document the findings.
The photo on the left shows how deep the Sea Turtles dig to lay their eggs. The next two photos show the tiny hole all the emerging hatch lings come out of on their journey to the ocean. Can you imagine seeing the sight of 39 live hatch lings all scrambling out on top of each to make their journey to the ocean? This is why it is so important to keep only special lights on during nesting seasons, which in our area runs from April to Oct each year. When the hatch lings emerge they quickly, scamper to reach the ocean guided by instinct & the reflection of the moon & stars over the ocean to guide them. There is no mother sea turtle to protect them from predators, they are on their own. From our local hardware store I purchased a special red light to shine when I walk on the beach in the early mornings and night so as not to bother the sea turtles nesting or hatch lings. While I am on the beach early every morning I still have not seen either the mama sea turtle laying the eggs or the babies yet?
My Nest actually hatched on 8/5/20 sometime between the hours of 10pm & 6am, hindsight, should have set my alarm to get up earlier. Had I know the exact day they would hatch, I may have been tempted to spend the night on the beach, by the nest, to witness the special event. This loggerhead laid a total of 90 eggs, with 39 hatched eggs, 1 pipped dead, 51 whole unhatched eggs and 16 damaged. Pipped dead means the hatch ling was found dead in the shell. I consider my turtle nest I adopted to have been a very successful nest. The mama sea turtle laid her eggs up far enough in the sand dunes, so in case we had a hurricane the eggs would not be swept away in the tide. Unfortunately, out of those 39 hatched eggs, many of the turtles will not live to adulthood. That is why the sea turtles lay so many eggs.
BELOW ARE 5 FUN FACTS I HAVE LEARNED BELOW:
- Sea turtles come back to the same place to lay their eggs as where they were born. (that is why if you see them hatch do not try to assist them on their journey to the ocean. Otherwise, the female sea turtle will not find her way back
- Male sea turtles once born and make their journey to the ocean, do not return to land again
- 50% of sea turtle crawls are false crawls. Meaning for whatever reason the females do not lay their eggs and return to the ocean
- Females lay eggs every two years approximately, but can lay more than one batch in a season.
- In our area New Smyrna Beach Loggerhead turtles are the most popular, Green turtles next and Kemp sea turtles rare here
I’m sure next year I will adopt another nest. May even adopt a few a little earlier in the season. Comments below on any interesting facts you have learned about Sea Turtles?
*Below is our local website to adopt a nest for only $40 a nest. You will receive stickers, t-shirt & info on our nest.