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Topsail Island has 26 miles of coastline.
Each mile is surveyed every morning to identify sea turtle tracks and nests from May through August.
SEA TURTLES  DIG THE DARK
Please keep oceanfront lighting to a minimum.  Lights disorient nesting mothers and lead hatchlings away from the sea, a trip they cannot survive.
In North Carolina the nesting season is mid-May through August.
The Loggerhead Sea Turtle comes ashore to nest 3 to 5 times during a nesting year.
She deposits an average of 120 eggs per nest.
The eggs will incubate in the sand for about 60 days.

After all the hatchlings have pipped out of their eggs, 
they emerge from the nest together and race to the sea.
Weighing in at about two ounces, their first challenge on our beach
is escaping the deadly grasp of the ghost crabs.
Once in the water they must hide from both bird and fish predators, 
and the swim to sea weed rafts and the Sargasso Sea begins.

It is a long swim to maturity.
It is estimated that 1 in 1000 survives the first year,
and as few as 1 in 5,000 - 10,000 survive to adulthood.
No one has the answer to this.
In 20 to 30 years the surviving hatchlings will reach adulthood.
The females will return to their natal beaches to lay their eggs and the cycle begins again.

5 sec video clip 1

  Surprise daylight visitor
 This sea turtle came to nest about 5 PM.
  

5 sec video clip 2
  She left behind nest 125 eggs.

 
Beach Patrol

Covering 26 miles, rain and shine, every morning,
the many, the proud, (some of) the beach patrol 2012

2014
TB = Topsail Beach    SC = Surf City (north/south of bridge)   NTB = North Topsail Beach ( north/south of bridge)
Date        
Nest     
Location   
Hatch Date #Eggs/#Hatch
May 25
43
1532 S Shore, SC July 25
143 / 130
June 1
1
2510 S shore, SC-S
Aug 6
125 / 119
June 4
2
NTB-n
Aug 7

June 4
3
NTB-S
Aug 9

June 4
4
TB


June 5
5
SC-S


June 9
6
NTB-s


June 11
7
SC-s


June 15
8
NTB-s


June 17
9
TB


June 17
10
NTB-s


June 17 11
NTB-n


June 18 12
NTB-n


June 20 13
SC-s


June 22 14
NTB-s


June 23 15
NTB-s


June 23 16
SC-s


June 24 17
NTB-n


June 25 18
SC-s


June 28 19
SC-n


June 28 20
NTB-s


June 30
21
NTB-n


June 30
22
NTB-s


June 30pm
23
TB


July 1
24
TB


July 1
25
NTB-n


July 2
26
TB


July 3
27
SC-s


July 3
28
TB


July 7
28
TB


July 7 29
SC-n


July 7 30
SC-s


July 11
31
NTB-n


July 12
32
SC-s


July 13
33
SC-s


July 14
34
SC-n


July 14
35
NTB-s


July 15
36
SC-s


July 18
37
SC-n


July 22
38
SC-n


July 21
39
SC-s


July 26
40
SC-s


July 26 41
SC-s


July 26 42
TB







July 27 44
NTB-s


July 21 45
SC-n


July 31 46
NTB-s


August 8
47
NTB-s


August 9
48
NTB-n


August 9
49
SC-s





YEAR
TOTAL #
Crawls
# Nests
# False Crawls
# Eggs
# Live Hatchlings
# Unhatched Eggs
# Dead Hatchlings
2013
302
136
166
15,481
11,113
4,368

2012
160
85
75
9,869
8,080
1,789

2011
213
110
103
12,142
9369
2,773
* data incomplete
  14 nests lost
2010
188
104
84
12,150
10,058
2,092

2009
105
59
46
7315
5804
1,450
39
2008
152
89
63
10,112*
8212
1,102
318
* data incomplete
6 nests lost
354+ lost eggs
2007
111
61
50
7,146
5,152
1,832
162
2006
166
94
72
9,838*
7,750
1.179
289
* date incomplete, 20 nests lost hurricane ernesto
2005 105
72
43
7,460*
5,107
1,244
208
*901 missing eggs, hurricane ophelia
2004
98
55
43
6,783
5,349
1,219
215
2003
134
80
54
9,882
8,260
1,531
91
2002
162
86
76
10,307
8,866
1,246
195
2001
130
79
51
  9,045
7,721
1,271
53

 

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