Waties Island Nest Count

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Nest #14R's Inventory

We all arrived at the beach to do the inventory on #14R.  Sprained ankle and all.

Some of us watch while others put on the required gloves.

After digging, Jingle finds the first live hatchling.

 A short while later we hear, "There's another one!"
The hatchlings are taken closer to the water to make their walk down the beach and into the water.

 WOW!  Another!
He too makes his way down the beach and into the water

A total of 5 hatchlings.  The students are thrilled as each one takes over seeing that no predator gets the hatchling as it makes it's way to the water.

Surprise!  This last little one climbed out of an egg after being counted as unhatched.  Even though his shell was still curved, he had absorbed the egg sack which he would need in order give him enough energy to make it to the jet stream approximately 40 miles off the coast.

As the last hatchling to leave Waties Island for the season makes his way toward the water, Paulette explains how we do the inventory and answers any questions they have.

Barb answers questions about what is recorded for South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

The unhatched eggs and shells are returned to the opened nest.

The nest was laid on 8/2/13.  There was a total of 83 eggs.  One egg was broken and was taken for the DNA study.  The remaining 82 eggs were relocated to higher ground.  66 eggs hatched.  16 unhatched.  There were 6 live hatchlings with no dead hatchlings.

May our imprint on these turtles be a lasting one. :)