Sea Turtle Sightings

Tybee Island sea turtle nesting seasonWe have lots to report in Sea Turtle sightings this week, especially since our much-loved sea turtle came home!

Yep, the Tybee Island Welcome sign is truly a welcome sight thanks to our Department of Public Works and a very special home-coming.  Our sea turtle is back “nesting” and poised to receive the thousands of visitors that love to pose for photos with her!

Also, Turtle Tammy has been enjoying an active season and we appreciate her regular updates and all of the volunteers who patrol our beaches for turtle tracks and nests.  To date, Georgia has 1,165 sea turtle nests and there are still two more months of nesting.  Tammy predicts we’ll see the 2,000 nests mark reached this year.  Tybee Island currently has 8 nests and there have been 15 false crawls.

The weather and the motion of the ocean has made for a more messy beach this year, but our hard-working Department of Public Works has been on hand to help clear the beach since early May.  The wrack line and now the sargasso grass that has washed up should not pose a problem for our nesting females and we have already had several nests located right in the wrack mess.  Tammy says we’ll need to make sure the areas in front of a nest is clear during the hatching window.

Tammy also reports, “The beach is difficult to read due to the debris and tracks from the clean up crew. DPW knows what to look for and will avoid any possible sea turtle crawl and nest in the area they are working.”  She asks our volunteers to make sure they  look in the soft sand because sometimes the tracks are seen on the hard packed sand.

“There was  a crawl missed on Saturday morning because the tracks were in the soft sand only. This was between the northern most point of Tybee and the Polk Street entrance. I happened to be on the beach in that area when the call came in. A fisherman had reported a turtle coming out of the ocean around 11 the night before, crawled up the beach and back out. I located the area (I had a little bit of a hard time seeing the tracks myself), but could not located any eggs.”

We are entering the hatching part of the season which means our nest sitters will begin watching each nest as they reach 45 days of incubation.  We’re all so excited at the prospect of all those beautiful hatchlings scampering for the sea!  We are so grateful to Turtle Tammy and her team of volunteers, so stay tuned for new updates!

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