Sunday, September 2, 2007

Turtle Watch

A few nights ago we went on a baby turtle watch adventure. Our friend Kathy is a regular volunteer who watches for sea turtle nests hatching during the night hours. The turtles are Loggerheads, and the beach is at Pea Island NWR. Purpose? To make sure no predators devour the babies before they can reach the shoreline (ghost crabs mostly).

So we got there at sundown and Ami helped unroll the green plastic barrier which keeps the turtles on a straight run to the ocean while keeping the crabs out. The turtles follow the moonlight to the sea.

The kids had a great time running around the beach until late at night when a thunderstorm and lightning eventually sent us back to our vehicles. We released 4 turtles that had been kept in captivity during that day because they hatched in the early morning (when the gulls are out looking for a snack). The nest we were monitoring started to hatch, but not until after we left.

2 comments:

Amy said...

What a great experience!! Just a few days ago Maiya asked if she would ever be able to watch the baby sea turtles on their trek. Any more photos?

Alisa said...

Sadly no more photos. I didn't want to confuse the turtles by flashing the camera at them. Do any turtles lay thier eggs along the pacific coast? I can't remember. You'd have to go south for sure though. Oh well, just another reason for you to move HERE! :oP