July 9, 2009

Leatherback Sea Turtle Nests on Carolina Beach

Today's Wilmington Star is reporting that a Leatherback sea turtle has nested on Carolina Beach. This behemoth of a turtle is described as being half the size of a VW Beetle. The Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project is overseeing the welfare of the nest and will begin a 24 hour watch in about six weeks when it is expected that the hatchlings may emerge. What makes this story so unique is this is only the second time that a Leatherback sea turtle has nested on a NC beach as they typically do not nest this far north. The Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on Earth and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and be over six feet in length.

According to the PISTP website, there are currently 4 nest sights in Carolina Beach and none in Kure Beach. Last year, there were 8 nests in CB and 9 in KB so be on the lookout for more sites as we are just nearing the halfway point of the nesting season (May thru Oct).

Read the full Wilmington Star article here.

(Leatherback off the coast of Gabon, Africa)

Photo Credit

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