BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY)– 150 sea turtle nests have been laid so far on Bald Head Island smashing the previous record of 143 nests set in 1986. In addition to the 150 nests, there have been 236 false crawls, 75 unique individual sea turtles laying the nests, and 3 nests have hatched so far.
Sea turtles on Bald Head Island typically lay nests into mid-late August so there is a very good chance for even more this year.
The Bald Head Island Conservancy’s sea turtle protection team is now comprised of the Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, Paul Hillbrand, and 6 sea turtle interns who patrol the beaches nightly from 9PM – 6AM on UTVs to track, measure and tag the sea turtles, protect their nests with cages, and relocate the nests if necessary.
The sea turtles have kept this team busy, typically seeing approximately 2 nests laid per night.
All nests have been laid by Loggerhead sea turtles so far.
Bald Head Island sees mostly Loggerhead turtles nesting, with the occasional Green turtle, and a Leatherback turtle, the largest of the sea turtle species, in 2010.
The Bald Head Island Conservancy hosts excavations of the nests 3 days after they hatch that are free and open to the public. The team will dig up the nest, count the eggs, and release any sea turtle hatchlings still in the nest.