For the third time in five years, a sea turtle nesting record at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) has been broken.
In 2015, a nesting record of 289 nests was set, followed by a new record in 2016 when 325 sea turtle nests were found on Seashore beaches. Now, with more than a month to go before the nesting season typically winds down, the record has again been broken with the discovery of the Seashore’s 326th nest yesterday.
Sea turtle nest numbers (as of July 16 at 12 p.m.):
- Loggerhead sea turtle: 317
- Green sea turtle: 11
- Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle: 1
“We are encouraged by the increasing numbers of sea turtles using Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches to nest,” stated Tracy Ziegler, Chief of Resource Management and Science, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “According to our estimates, almost 11,000 sea turtle eggs have been deposited in beaches on Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke islands.”
Be aware of sea turtle nesting activity, or hatchlings, while visiting the Seashore. If you see turtle tracks, nesting activity, or hatchlings, please notify park biologists by calling the stranding hotline at 252-216-6892.
The majority of current sea turtle nests aren’t expected to impact recreational access along the Seashore. For updated beach access information, go to: http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess.
Visit http://seaturtle.org for more information and to track nesting activities at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and around the world.