Green hatchlings

Green hatchlings during daytime emergence

Our first green nest of the season has hatched and has been excavated! Beach goers received a surprise in the daytime when they witnessed 4 green hatchlings emerge from a newly formed depression in the peak afternoon heat! Fortunately, they notified PCB TW volunteers to ensure they reached the water following on their long crawl from the dunes.

Green hatchling swimming at surface, vulnerable to predators so we try to help every single one
Green hatchling swimming just below the surface

Later that evening, the full nest boiled and all of the hatchlings, in a much cooler time of night, made their way straight to the water.

In accordance with our FWC permit, we conducted an excavation of the nest 3 days later and found 4 live hatchlings in the chamber. Three of those hatchlings were entangled in roots from the dune vegetation in the first few inches of the chamber. This is not uncommon for nests laid in the dunes and fortunately we found them alive during the excavation. Another live hatchling was found among the 133 hatched egg shells about 24 inches deep! Overall the nest was very successful! Check out our Facebook live recording of Nest 18’s excavation on August 27 to see the hatchlings as they were found in the chamber, quite a relief to see the little flippers begin moving as they were freed from the roots!

Nest 18 sample contents include a hatched egg, unhatched egg, spacer egg and 4 live hatchlings
Green hatchlings are identified by their scute pattern on their carapace (their hard top shell)
Nest 18 eggs from excavation

As a reminder, sea oats are protected in Florida and are vital to our dune system. As volunteers we do our best to not disturb the sea oats and ask that you do the same if you encounter a nest in the dunes.

We’ll continue to monitor our remaining loggerhead and green nests for hatch activity and post excavations as we are able to schedule them for public attendance.

If you see a nesting or hatching sea turtle on the beach and volunteers aren’t present, please contact PCB non-emergency police at 850-233-5000 and they will contact our volunteers. Thank you for leaving the beach clean, dark and flat!

Photos taken under MTP-038