We Love Our Pleasure Island Sea Turtles
Pleasure Island isn't just the perfect vacation spot for families from all across the country; it is also the ideal place for the majestic sea turtle to nest. Soon all along Kure and Carolina Beach Sea Turtles will struggle ashore to continue the cycle of life. For those who get to see a sea turtle or experience the wonder of a nest hatching, it is something you'll never forget. In 2017 we were lucky here on Pleasure Island to have several nests. Kure Beach saw seven Sea Turtles return to nest and Carolina Beach had 6! We're hoping for an even better turnout this year.
Meet the Sea Turtles of Pleasure Island
5 fun facts about Sea Turtles
They’re migratory and can travel thousands of miles back to the beach they were born on to nest.
They navigate by the moonlight and magnetic fields.
The largest species can weigh 2,000 pounds.
Some Sea Turtles can live to be a 100 years old!
Female turtles can lay up to 100 eggs at a time
The great Sea Turtle adventure.
As we mentioned above Sea Turtles are migratory. Each year female Sea Turtles return to the spot where they were born to continue the cycle of life by nesting on their home beach. As the Sea Turtle makes here way up the beach, she uses magnetic fields, the slope of the shore, and moonlight to find her way to the perfect nesting spot. Unlike land-based turtles Sea Turtles have front flippers instead of claws, which makes them excellent swimmers.
Once ashore the female uses her flippers to dig a nest and then lay her eggs, called a clutch. Each turtle can lay up to 100 eggs, which sounds like a lot, but did you know only 1 of 1,000-10,000 eggs survives! Each turtle nests every 2-3 years and can lay four clutches a year. That's a lot of eggs! But don't be fooled by the large number of eggs as you will see survival is far from assured.
About 60 days after being laid, the eggs will hatch. The temperature of the sand determines the sex of the baby Sea Turtles. Warm sand results in female Sea Turtles and cold sand results in male turtles. Pleasure Island is part of the northern edge of the Sea Turtle's nesting grounds. Because of the cooler sand found on Kure and Carolina Beach our beaches produce a large portion of the male Sea Turtle population in the Atlantic.
Hatchlings slowly make there way out of the nest and head for the ocean. Like their mothers, they use a combination of light, magnetic fields, wave action and the slope of the beach to find their way to the surf. Once in the ocean, the hatchlings will swim for 24-36 hours to reach the Gulf Stream and the nutrient-rich seaweed beds where they'll spend the next ten years. Few will survive this trying ordeal. Pollution, predators and many other factors make life at sea for a baby Sea Turtle challenging.
What to do if you find a nest.
if you happen to come across a Sea Turtle nest there are a few things you should do.
1- Keep your distance. Stay at least 30 feet away any disruption in the nesting process can cause the turtle to return to sea prematurely
2- Immediately call (888) 290-1065 or 911 report the nest.
3- Never use flash photography or flashlights if you find the nest at night.
4- Do NOT share the location of the nest with anyone but the authorities.
How you can help our Sea Turtles
Please Control Your Pets
Turn Off The Porch Lights
Keep Our Beaches Clean
Fill In Your Holes
Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project
If you want to help out, the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project is always looking for volunteers. New volunteer orientation will take place on March 20, 2018, at 6 pm. Orientation is mandatory for all new volunteers. All volunteers must RSVP. Orientation will occur at 555 Haliburton Pkwy, Wilmington, NC 28412
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