Cape Hatteras National Seashore is inviting visitors and islanders to observer an excavation at 9:30 tomorrow morning (Sept. 18) of a loggerhead turtle nest.

Sea turtle eggs. Photo: Ruth Fordon

Those wishing to observe it should enter the beach from the  Day Use Beach parking area (the Lifeguard Beach).  Once on the  beach, turn right (or south). It takes about five minutes to get to the site, a distance of one tenth of a mile.

An “excavation” is the process completed by biologists to document what remains in the nest after a natural hatch has occurred. During this process, the biologists will dig up the nest, count empty eggshells and collect unhatched eggs for research.  Live and dead hatchlings are occasionally found during these excavations.

While the biologists perform their examination of the nest, a park ranger will present a program on sea turtles and share what the biologists have found.

Nest excavations are an important way for the National Park Service to collect valuable data on sea turtle hatch and emergence success rates.

This data is added to the turtle nesting databases for the seashore and the State of North Carolina.

Persons interested in finding out when and where an excavation will take place can call the excavation program hotline at 252-475-9629.  

For more information on sea turtles in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, click here.

Loggerhead turtle. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


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