Story time: A Loggerhead’s Journey to Nest Conclusion

We now share with you the conclusion of the recent morning where our surveyor found multiple loggerhead sea turtle crawls.

You, the nesting loggerhead, have made two attempts to nest in the last several hours. You are determined to find a good spot on PCB to lay your nest. You swim another two plus miles once again deciding to give it another try. You emerge from the water, crawl about 40 feet and reach a sandy slope from a recent escarpment (vertical wall formed by wave action) in which you are able to scale with ease. You begin digging your body pit but the sand doesn’t feel quite right. You scoot forward another 20 feet and try again, finally everything feels right this time. You settle in and dig the chamber with your rear flippers, deposit ~100 eggs, cover the nest, make a turn and head back to the water. After a long night with two false crawls, you have traveled over 5 miles in the water and have now successfully nested.

Soon our PCB Turtle Watch morning surveyor will find your nest and is able to predict you are the same turtle that had the other two false crawls found this morning based on the crawl width, one of the data points we gather for each crawl we find. This particular female could have already nested on our beaches here in the panhandle prior to this nest and she may nest again as they can lay every two weeks resulting in between 3 and 7 nests in a season. Often when we observe a false crawl, we will find a corresponding nest crawl the same day or within the next day or two. If the sea turtle has made an attempt, there is a good chance she will keep trying until successful within a few days. The video explains the rest, this nest is now marked for protection and will remain on the beach until it hatches and is excavated to determine the hatch success.

Thanks for tuning into our multi-part story of one of our nesting loggerheads this season. We share this information with you in an effort to educate as many people as possible on sea turtle behaviors and how we can all help protect them.

If you encounter a sea turtle on our sandy beaches, please contact PCB non-emergency at 850-233-5000 and they will dispatch our volunteers. Please leave our beaches clean, dark and flat to provide the best nesting environment possible for these protected species!

Activities performed under MTP-038

Loggerhead tracks and nest