Blog Post by: Annie Gentry
As we approach the close of the first half of my summer as a sea turtle intern, our work is just getting started! We are up to 101 nests and the turtle mamas keep coming (and will continue to do so into August!). That being said, we also have reached the incubation period for several of our nests at 45 days! On average, the eggs incubate from 45-60 days prior to hatching, but every turtle is different! Because we have reached this period, our morning patrols and turtle staff duties have increased! Each morning when we venture on to the beach for our patrol, we must mark all the nests that have reached the 45-day incubation period and check on all the nests that have already done so! They could be hatching any day now! In addition, we continue our regular morning patrols including searching for new nests and crawls along the beach. What we are looking for when we check the nests are tiny little turtle tracks leading out from under the protective netting and a caved in area where the nest used to be. When the weather is bad and rain pelts the beach, it can be difficult if not impossible to see the little turtle tracks, so the caved in area will most likely be the telltale sign! Once our first nest hatches we will also start conducting inventories on the beach to measure the success of the nests!
I cannot fathom how quickly this past month has flown by, and to think that there is only one left to go. We have a busy few weeks ahead of us and I am curious to see what curveballs the turtles throw at us next!
Sea Turtle Biologist