Hatching Season is Upon Us

posted: July 21, 2016, 10:47 PM

It's what we've all been waiting for: baby turtles! Our first nests of the season are now at least 50 days old and have been prepared for hatching. Black plastic landscape material is placed in the form of a "collar" around each nest on day 50 indicating the nest is within the hatching range of 50-80 days. In addition, a trench is dug to help direct the baby turtles to the ocean. A couple of nests have a "depression" or drop in the sand at the very center of the nest which means the babies have started to hatch. It can take up to 3 days for the babies to emerge once a depression is seen. Baby turtles are like human babies: they come when they're ready and often when no one is around!
In the past few years we have received many requests to post a list of where our nests are and when the anticipated hatch will be. The NC Wildlife Resource Commission biologist has asked that we not publish lists because of crowd control concerns. A hatching is about the hatchlings and getting them to the water in a safe and expeditious manner. When large crowds assemble at a nest, members of the HBTWP need to concentrate on the job of caring for the hatchlings, and not crowd control. You can ask a red shirted HBTWP member where the location of other nests are that might be about to hatch and they will give you that information if they know. There will not be a published list showing any information on nest location or hatch date, That has been, and will continue to be, the policy of the Holden Beach Turtle Watch Program.

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