Turtle Nest Training at Bon Secour NWR

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This morning was so very interesting. Ken and I met with a small group on the beach and underwent Refuge sea turtle nest discovery and handling training.

We learned how to spot and identify turtle tracks from the ocean onto the beach. From the tracks you can identify the species (e.g. Loggerhead, Kemp’s, etc.). We measured, took GPS coordinates and simulated a dig to eggs (ping pong balls), an excavation and a nest relocation. And finally, we put down a protective grid and marked the nest training site with official stakes.

Turtle nest work is fascinating, but hard work. It will be hot and dirty work, and while we stayed relatively clean today as observers and data recorders, we look forward to getting our hands dirty and being of good value to the team, even though it will require early morning hours (think 5 a.m.)!

On Monday evening we have phase 2 of the training, which is nest sitting. The incubation period is between 55 and 65 days and nests are being found daily, so September promises some late nights waiting for hatchlings to emerge.

We are so excited about nest sitting that I want to buy a red lens flashlight today!

Photos of this morning’s training are attached and we hope that you stay tuned for more developments.

Dorothy and Ken

Intern Elliott

Relocation simulation

Trainer Stephanie at nest site

Simulated eggs in nest

Actual sea turtle nest sites
The beach at Mobile Street

Simulated sea turtle tracks from the ocean to the beach

Tracks and nest site

2 Replies to “Turtle Nest Training at Bon Secour NWR”

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