The seashore is offering park visitors an
opportunity to observe excavations of recently hatched sea turtle nests
during the months of August and September, 2016. An “excavation”
is the process completed by biologists to document what remains in the
nest after a natural hatch has occurred.
During an excavation, the biologists will dig up
the nest, count empty eggshells, and collect un-hatched eggs for
research. Live and dead hatchlings are occasionally found during
these excavations. While the biologists perform their examination of
the nest, a park ranger will present a program on sea turtles and share
what the biologists have found.
Nest excavations are an important way for the
National Park Service to collect valuable data on sea turtle hatch and
emergence success rates. This data is added to the turtle nesting
databases for the seashore and the state of North Carolina.
Persons interested in finding out when and where
an excavation will take place can call the excavation program hotline
at 252-475-9629. The first excavations of the season will likely take
place in early August. Due to the unpredictability of sea turtle
hatchings, notice of these excavations programs will usually occur only
one day in advance, so check the hotline often.