It’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Here at Holden Beach

It’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Here at Holden Beach

May is here and so is the start of the sea turtle nesting season here at Holden Beach and that means that the turtles can be seen any day now. Each year hundreds of loggerhead sea turtles flock to Holden Beach in late spring to make their nests. And when you stay in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals, you may have the opportunity to see a nest or even a turtle. Let’s look below at some of the things you need to know about the turtle nesting season here at Holden Beach.

When Does the Turtle Nesting Season Begin and End?

It’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Here at Holden Beach

Many of the local residents love this time of the year not only for the warm weather, but also for the start of this season. Beginning on May 1st each year is the start of one of the most magical times on the North Carolina coast. This is the start of the loggerhead sea turtles nesting season and it’s something you don’t want to miss each year while on vacation. During the night is when you may see the turtles come to the shore and lay their eggs in the nests they have built. All along the coast of North Carolina is where you will find most of the nests and the eggs. Turtle nesting season doesn’t end until October 30th every year so while you are on vacation to Holden Beach this summer, know that it is turtle nesting season.

How You Can Help Protect Our Loggerhead Sea Turtles

At Holden Beach, we take protecting our loggerhead sea turtles very serious as they have made their home on our beautiful shore. We have several hundred local volunteers that check out the beaches each morning in search of new nests that were built the night before. These volunteers do mark each new nest with a protective grating, marked with stakes, ribbons and a warning sign. Each nest is monitored for the next 50-70 days for their safety and for any activity of when they are ready to hatch. Here are a few rules to follow while you are vacationing to Holden Beach during turtle nesting season:

  • Please keep your distance from the turtles nest and the mothers who lay the eggs.
  • Don’t disturb the nests or the grating that are covering the nests. These grates help keep predators away from the eggs and hatchlings.
  • Don’t use your flashlight on your phone and don’t leave the outdoor lights on overnight at your Oceanfront vacation rental. The turtles use the moonlight to help guide them to the ocean and any other lights will distract them from what they came to shore to complete.
  • Please clean up after your day at the beach and don’t leave any of your beach equipment on the beach overnight.
  • Please keep the beaches clean from any trash or plastic on the days you spend at the beach. We like to keep our beaches free of trash to help with the new hatchlings as much as we can.
  • If you see a mother who is in distress, injured or unmarked nests, please contact the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol today at 910-754-0722.
It’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Here at Holden Beach

While ther are many other things that you can do while on vacation to Holden Beach during the turtle nesting season, these are the most important ones we wanted to share. If you haven’t made your family vacation to Holden Beach yet, now is the time. We can’t wait to see you and your family on your next vacation to our beautiful Holden Beach this summer!

Holden Beach Sea Turtles Have Hatched

The Holden Beach turtle watch program has been in existence since 1989. Their sole responsibility is to monitor and protect the sea turtle population on Holden Beach, North Carolina. This nonprofit conservation organization is made up of all volunteers and operates under the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. There are presently 65 members. Members of the program were excited to announce the first nest of the year was laid on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 in Holden Beach. There were a total of 157 Loggerhead eggs and the nest was relocated. They watch for hatchlings beginning on or about July 9. The area is roped off with yellow tape to protect the nest so steer clear if you see it. The yellow color means the nest was laid in May. For the next 55-70 days of incubation, the nest will be monitored by program volunteers until hatching. At that time, Turtle Patrol members account for each hatchling or non-fertile egg and insure that the baby turtles make it safely into the ocean. This process is repeated with every nest.

 

holden beach turtles hatched

Did you know?

  • Sea Turtles predate dinosaurs and have existed for over 200 million years.
  • There are 8 species of Sea Turtles. 5 visit North Carolina: The Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, Green (green sea turtle) and Leatherback.
  • Mature Loggerhead Turtles weigh up to 400 pounds!
  • There are typically 100-125 eggs in each nest.
  • A fine of up to $100,000 and or 1 year in prison is the penalty for harassing a Sea Turtle or disturbing its nest.

How you can help

  • Turn off all lights that face the ocean before retiring at night including carports. If staying up late, close all blinds and draperies in oceanfront rooms between May 1 and October 31.
  • Fill in any large sand holes you dig before nightfall, they could trap a turtle, cause a night or early morning beach walker to fall and possibly break a leg or cause an accident to Turtle Patrol ATV riders in the early morning.
  • Call 910-754-0766 to report mother turtles laying nests, injured or stranded turtles, unattended hatchlings, disturbed nests or harassment of a sea turtle. Please use this number only for turtle emergencies.
  • Pick up any trash, especially plastic, from the beach. Do not release balloons on the beach. These items look like jellyfish to sea turtles.

To learn more about the Holden Beach turtle watch program visit their website and consider becoming a volunteer.