April 14, 2009

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins May 1st

It is that time of year again when everyone needs to be on the lookout for the signs of sea turtle nests. If you come across either a potential nest or a turtle laying eggs, please don't disturb the site and immediately notify one of the point of contacts listed below.

Here is a brief overview of the nesting process as outlined by Florida's
TurtleTime.Org:

"Each summer from May through August, something wondrous happens along our beaches: An ancient mariner, the loggerhead sea turtle, leaves the water during the night and crawls ashore to lay her eggs in a sandy nest.

The task of excavating a nest may take her over an hour to accomplish. The turtle - weighing several hundred pounds - laboriously digs a nest cavity with her rear flippers.

She then deposits approximately 100 pliable ping-pong ball sized eggs into the chamber, covers them with sand and returns to the sea.

After roughly a two-month incubation period, a cluster of tiny hatchlings emerges from the sand and scrambles to the Gulf."
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Sea Turtle Nesting Points of Contact:
Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Coordinators
•Kure Beach--Jody Smith, Mobile: 910.352.1765, jodynl@aol.com
•Carolina Beach--Nancy Busovne, Mobile: 910.538.2918,
pn.busovne@att.net

Additional Points of Contact-if needed:
•NC Wildlife Resource Commission: 1-800-662-7137
•NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher: 1-866-301-3476
•Carolina Beach Police: 910-458-2540
•Kure Beach Police: 910-458-7586
•Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue Center at Topsail Island: 910-328-3377 or 910-328-1716.
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To learn more about sea turtles and to find out about local conservation efforts on the island, check out this April 25th class at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area . If you can't make this class, check their website for other dates as they will run the program all summer long.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Turtle Talk: This is our most popular program! We will discuss the mysteries of sea turtles. Find out what local conservation efforts are in place to bring them back from the edge of extinction. Also, find out what you can do to help these amazing creatures. Time: 2:00 pm

Sea Turtle Links of Interest
Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project (to be a Pleasure Island volunteer, visit this site)
Photo Credit Sea Turtle Tracks
Photo Credit Sea Turtle Nest
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