During the 2014 season, FIVE nests were COMPLETELY destroyed by coyotes.
Several nests were also predated by coyotes, both before AND after they
were laid. Apparently the coyotes have figured out how to identify the nests,
even AFTER the initial nesting. It's a distressing time for sea turtles on
Kiawah. All nests in Zone 3 and in Zone 4 were screened for the remainder
of the summer. That did cut down the post-nesting predation from the
coyotes a little, but not completely. Sadly there is no way to prevent the coyotes from locating nests BEFORE
turtle patrol has a chance to screen them. That is a real problem, and is
by far responsible for the largest nest/egg loss.
Over a dozen nests have been badly predated
by coyotes, resulting in the loss of HUNDREDS of eggs. Two nests have been totally
destroyed. Here is an example of what a nest looks like after a coyote has
visited it. This one isn't as badly damaged as some....