The nesting season is winding down – just a couple of turtles left in the area – we are no longer on night patrols, so we see only their tracks on our morning surveys. But we are out full force to protect nests emerging, to dig up and inventory nests that have hatched and to count green and hawksbill nests! Still so much to do. With Tropical Storm Beryl headed our way tonight, we will be out this afternoon to dig up the last few nests that have hatched this week to make sure we can rescue any hatchlings that got left behind, so they aren’t trapped in wet sand (should we get a lot of rain overnight).
On regular nights, we look for hatchlings that are emerging, mark the emergence location and wait for the little guys to make their way to the surface of the sand. The FWS Turtle Watch program gets to see nests hatch most nights of the week. We all make sure that the hatchlings are protected from patrolling frigate birds and night herons and that they all make it safely to the water – after that, they are on their own!