Last three nests.

posted: September 7, 2011, 7:32 PM

The turtle season on Holden Beach is drawing to a close. We are down to our last 3 nests.

Nests 25, 26 & 27 were opened on Monday night (9/5) to protect any hatchlings from another over wash. Sadly, nest 25 ultimately was victim to Irene. The nest was full of black mold that essentially smothered all 116 fully developed embryos before they could break out of their shells.

Nest 26 turned out to be another one of the total non fertile nests we have had this year. The spacing between the laying dates, flipper width, and location on the beach sort of point to the same mother. Hopefully DNA results will shed some light on this one.

Nest 27 yielded 92 hatchlings, a bunch of non fertile eggs and 5 eggs with moving embryos. The 5 were reburied in a safer location and will be checked in a day or so.

Nest 28 is being set up tonight with due date of September 12. This nest has had a very hard time getting to this point. It is the last of the natural nests, has survived a partial washout from Irene, and has made it through the high surf and tides this week. The eggs are so close to the surface that we have a large mound of sand over the cavity area to try and protect the eggs. It is also so close to the high tide line that digging a trench would only funnel water into the nest. We are all hoping for a positive outcome.

The remaining 2 nests are not scheduled to hatch until the last week of September.

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