Updated Turtle Nesting Numbers, as of May 18, 2015; Sandy Point Wildlife Refuge

Our 2015 Leatherback Interns hard at work

Our 2015 Leatherback Interns hard at work

Geographic Consulting’s Sea Turtle Project Manager, Jen Valiulis, has been updating some aspects of our 2015 turtle nesting database. Here, we present to you our corrected numbers so far this season (as of May 18, 2015). We have had 72 individual leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), 12 of which are neophytes (17%). Neophytes are an important measure because they indicate a healthy, vibrant population. That 17% is a bit low in terms of neophytes, but hopefully we’ll get the usual surge at the end of the season. In terms of activity numbers, we’ve had 165 lays, 55 probable lays, 35 dry runs and 14 tracks only. Of those nests (lays and probable lays) 187 have been in situ and 33 have been relocated (18%). Eggs are relocated when the female lays her nest in an area that is likely to wash away as part of a predictable, seasonal erosion pattern.

 You can compare those numbers to our summary of the complete 2014 season, in this previous blog post.
We’ve also had two hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) activities, both of which were dry runs. We’ve had a decent amount of green turtle activity – 6 lays, 3 probable lays, 5 dry runs and 1 track only.
It is that exciting time of the season now where hatchlings are emerging from their nests, and starting their long and mysterious  journey toward adulthood.


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