First Sea Turtle Nests of the Season found on beaches of South Carolina
The Department of Natural Resources revealed that first sea turtle nests of the season have been spotted on beaches in South Carolina. According to reports, about 17 sea turtle nests have been found in May and most of them were in Beaufort County.
The department reported that first nest was discovered on May 1 on Botany Island. According to wildlife officials, this year's summer, thousands of nests will be found along the shoreline of the state.
The Fripp Island Turtle Team found three sea turtle nests on the island since Tuesday. Janie Lackman, leader of the team, said that finding the nests is like finding buried treasure. When a nest is discovered by a team, it is reported to the Department of Natural Resources. After that, the nest is staked off so that it's not disturbed.
Lackman said that nests could have more than 100 eggs. One of the eggs is usually used for a DNA research project so that female turtles' nesting habits can be tracked every year. During the nesting season, people are asked to keep lights off along the beach at night. According to experts, the lights could confuse the turtles as they are trying to go back to the ocean.
In 2014, about 2,080 sea turtle nests were found across the state, while in 2013, total of 5,195 were discovered. The first sea turtle nests of 2015 have been found on Beaufort County beaches within the last week.
Lackman said that two of the nests were spotted on Monday on Fripp Island, while the third was found on Tuesday. Members of the Fripp Island Turtle Team started morning beach patrols on Monday. According to the team, this year they started their work a few days earlier. Usually, start date of morning beach patrols is May 15.
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