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17 Sep 2021
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Recreational

Sea Turtles on Ocracoke

Loggerhead Turtle

Ocracoke is one of the most successful nesting areas for loggerhead sea turtles on the Outer Banks. The mother turtle will come up on the beach at night, dig a hole, and deposit her 100 or so eggs.

Since the loggerhead is an endangered species, volunteers work to provide the safest environment and help maximize the hatchlings chances for survival. National Park Service Resource Management monitors nesting activity by surveying the beach in the early morning hours looking for the characteristic crawl of the mother sea turtle.

When a site is found the location is then marked off for 55 days. After the 55 days they start monitoring the nest for hatching activity.

About two months later the babies will hatch out of their eggs, dig their way to the surface, and make a run for the ocean. The emergence is generally also at night which helps protect the hatchlings from predators. The hatchings follow the moonlight to the ocean which is why it’s important to have no other light pollution on the beach.

So far for the year of 2021 Ocracoke has seen a total of 98 nests.

View our video of the hatchlings heading into the ocean at the Ocracoke Campground beach https://bit.ly/3lqtx5O 

Visitors who notice any sea turtle nesting activity are advised to call the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to report the sighting at 252-216-6892.