The first Leatherback Sea Turtle nest laid on Ocracoke Island in 11 years was discovered this past week, per an update from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS).
On Monday, June 19, a nest with 93 eggs was laid on the beach and found in the early morning hours during a routine turtle patrol.
The Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest sea turtle in the world, weighing up to 2,000 pounds and measuring up to 6.5 feet as adults
Because the nest was right at the high tide line, park biologists relocated all 93 eggs to a safer spot on the beach.
Since keeping record, this is only the sixth Leatherback Sea Turtle to nest on Cape Hatteras National Seashore:
- 2022: 1 nest (Hatteras Island)
- 2012: 1 nest (Ocracoke Island)
- 2009: 1 nest (Hatteras Island)
- 2007: 1 nest (Ocracoke Island)
- 2004: 1 nest (Hatteras Island)
According to data from seaturtle.org, which actively monitors sea turtle nests all around the globe, there have been 83 sea turtles nests on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore since the first nest of the season was discovered on Ocracoke Island on May 12.
The nests include 80 loggerheads, one green sea turtle, one Kemp’s Ridley, and now one Leatherback.
Due to the recent highly-active nesting seasons, visitors are advised to be aware of sea turtle nesting activity or hatchlings while visiting the local beaches on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
If you see turtle tracks, nesting activity, or hatchlings, please notify park biologists by calling 252-216-6892.