Waties Island Nest Count

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1 - Another Crawl on the Beach

This morning we discovered another crawl around Marker 3, but unlike Thursday and Saturday, we were unable to find a nest. There was evidence that the turtle attempted to dig a nest chamber but didn't complete it.

We've seen this before, most recently in 2012 when we had a record of 32 false crawls. Of this number, 23 and possibly more could be attributed to what came to be known as our "special needs" turtle. That season, with the permission of SC DNR, a small group of volunteers went out to the island to observe that turtle at night only to discover that she was missing her right rear flipper which accounted for the uneven tracks.

Her tracks are different from a normal loggerhead in that the right flipper track is deeply grooved while the left track is much smoother. We also saw this turtle back in 2009; that year she did lay one nest, the the total false crawls for the season was 22 - an unusually high number.

Today's outgoing tracks (looking toward the dunes)
Outgoing tracks - see the deep grooves on her right side?
Crawl from 2012 with distinctive pattern
2012 incoming tracks - deep groves on right side

If history repeats itself, we may be in for a busy season...

Barb and Steve

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