Summer 2012 Update

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Summer 2012

This is the latest news about sea turtle nests on Kiawah Island.

August 12th - Kiawah's beach now has 209 nests. 

August 2, 2012 - So far $575 has been raised to benefit the Sea Turtle Hospital.  YEA!  Here is a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far!

July 29th - Kiawah's beach now has 203 nests. 

July 24th - Kiawah's beach now has 194 nests. 

July 24th - An update on Kiawah's leatherback nest... Nest #1 was Kiawah's first nest laid this season, and is a leatherback sea turtle nest. The nest was evaluated on July 23rd, and 31 hatched shells were found. The final statistics for this nest are: 39 full unhatched eggs; 13 pipped (some turtle formation); 31 hatched; 1 unknown; 21 spacers, 1 live. Overall, it was a very successful leatherback nest. We learned that the leatherback eggs can take a lot longer to hatch than loggerhead eggs. The nest was 98 days old on July 23rd.

July 20th - An update on Kiawah's leatherback nest... Nest #1 was Kiawah's first nest laid this season, and is a leatherback sea turtle nest. One (1) hatchling definitely emerged 2 days ago and was taken by a crab. Based upon the tracks coming from the nest, it is probable that 1 or 2 more emerged. It has become clear that this turtle/clutch requires much more time to hatch and emerge. If 3 did come out, there may be many more hatching and ready to come out, so now we will wait to see if more do come out. If clutch success is usually about 50%, there may be more to come. The nest will be checked each day by zone 6 members. If there is any evidence that indicates more than solitary emergences, we will let everyone know ASAP!

July 16th - There are 181 nests on Kiawah's beach as of July 16th. WOW!

July 12th - The first nest hatched on Kiawah last night.

July 8th - Kiawah's beach now has 158 nests! 

July 7th - Kiawah's beach now has 155 nests!  Our mamas just keep on going!

July 6th - Kiawah's beach has 150 nests as of July 6th!  Go mamas!

June 29th - Kiawah's beach has 136 nests as of this morning.  YEA!

June 27th - We have 130 nests on Kiawah's beach now.  GO MAMAS!

June 22nd - There are now 120 nests on Kiawah's beach! Wow!

June 19th - There are 104 nests on Kiawah's beach! Those mamas just keep on going! Could this be another banner year for sea turtle nests? Stay tuned...

June 13th - Kiawah's turtle moms have NOT slowed down, not one little bit! The latest nest number is...wait for it... 89 nests! WAHOO!

June 1st - Kiawah's beach has 52 sea turtle nests as of June 1st.  Way to go mama turtles!

May 25th - There are now 39 nests on Kiawah's beach.  For a comparison of previous years versus 2012, please click here.

May 20th - There are now 24 nests on Kiawah's beach.  For a comparison of previous years versus 2012, please click here.

May 15th - Kiawah's beach now has 13 nests.  2002 was the only year that had more nests on May 15th, with 27.  WOW! 

May 11th - There are now 7 nests on Kiawah's beach.  GO MAMA TURTLES!

May 9th - Nest #2 was located on Kiawah this morning! The mamas are starting a wee bit early this year. Generally they begin nesting here on Kiawah within a day or two of Mother's Day.

*** April 29th will be the first sea turtle release of the season! 10:30 a.m. at the Isle of Palms County Park!!!  Click here to learn more...

April 17th - Turtles have begun nesting on Kiawah!  More exciting still is that Nest #1 is a leatherback nest.  This is only the second known leatherback nest laid on Kiawah since we began keeping records in the mid-1980s.  GO TURTLES!

March 30th - Turtles have begun nesting in Georgia ALREADY! The nest was a leatherback too, so that is even bigger news. As far as Kiawah is concerned, the water temperature hit 20 degrees Celsius in the past week, and appears to be staying there. Generally this means that the food supply for our turtles will be "ready" sooner, which could potentially mean earlier nesting as well. More information from David Whitaker of the SC DNR: "According to the customs house monitoring station, water temperature hit 20 C on March 23 , went down some ,and is now back at 20.1 C. Harbor temperature historically reaches 20.0 C on about April 24. So, we seem to about 26 days or more ahead of schedule unprecedented in my experience. We heard a cobia was caught yesterday. I expect turtles are in the coastal waters and shrimp/crabs/horseshoe crabs etc., will be spawning early."

Mark Dodd, the Georgia Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, has this to say: "For those of you that have already been whipped into a state of panic by the news (including me), please do not despair. Leatherbacks are known to begin nesting 1 to 1.5 months earlier than loggerheads and greens. We still have plenty of time to prepare for our loggerhead field season (4 weeks)."

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