Too many false crawls--we need your help.

posted: July 16, 2022, 2:59 PM

This week we've had a large number of false crawls on our beach. We've had 12 new false crawls since Tuesday with 8 of them on Thursday morning alone. As of Saturday July 16, we have 50 nests and 62 false crawls on our beach for the season. So far, no hatchlings, but any day now we expect some!

A 'False Crawl' happens when a female sea turtle crawls on the beach but reenters the water without laying a nest. False Crawls usually occur because the turtle was disturbed, frightened or she could not find a suitable nest site.

Visitors reported that on Wednesday night they saw two different mother turtles come ashore, but she went back in when people ran towards her. This photo shows a false crawl from Thursday morning. You can see the mother turtle’s tracks where she came onto the beach and turned around and went back into the water without stopping.

Holden Beach is a Sea Turtle Sanctuary, this means that the Turtle Patrol, as well as all visitors at night, should facilitate ‘safe’ conditions to encourage sea turtle nesting. If you are lucky enough to see a sea turtle emerge onto the beach, please stay back and call the Stranding Team (910-754-0766). Everyone on the beach at night plays a vital role in the protection of sea turtles and their nesting environment by eliminating lights, flashes, and noise.

If the mother turtle can't find a safe place to lay her nest, the entire clutch may be lost.

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**This conservation work for protected sea turtles on Holden Beach is authorized by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (ES Permit 22ST11)**

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