Horray!!!! The first Loggerhead has laid her eggs!!!! Here is the story from the Tybee Sea Turtle Project Coordinator- Tammy Smith …
“After dark on Saturday, a loggerhead sea turtle crawled out of the surf, dug her nest, and laid 140 eggs right next to a bright red Coke can on Tybee Island’s Eighth Street beach.
It was the first sea turtle nest recorded on the island this season.
Volunteer Danny Carpenter found the nest while patrolling the beach Sunday morning, said Tammy Smith, who coordinates the sea turtle volunteers through the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.
“It was a large, large nest,” Smith said.
Because it was just below the high-tide line, where the eggs could drown, Smith and other volunteers relocated the nest higher up on the beach.
Smith reserved one egg for an ongoing study of sea turtle genetics and put the rest back in the new, safer location. Volunteers cordoned off the nest site to keep people out and put a wire screen over the top of it to prevent animals from stealing the eggs.
On nearby Little Tybee, raccoons depredated the first nest of the year before it could be protected, Smith said.
“They gotta eat, too,” she said. “I just wish they wouldn’t eat my turtle eggs.”
So far this nesting season, which began in May, 128 loggerhead and four leatherback sea turtle nests have been recorded in Georgia, said Mark Dodd, the Georgia sea turtle coordinator.
While that’s a slower start than last year, which turned out to have a record-breaking 1,646 nests, Dodd is predicting an average to above-average nesting season of about 1,000 to 1,400 nests.