Saturday, August 15, 2009

Turtle tracks

I forgot to share this photograph with you after my Ft. Pickens patrol yesterday morning. During my patrol I thought I'd found a nest, but it turned out the loggerhead had come ashore the day before. If you click on the photo you can see a portion of the long path the female turtle took.

It takes a huge amount of energy for a 200+ lb. turtle to crawl this far with only her flippers to propel her through the sand. This is one of the reasons we patrol so early in the day. If a turtle is still on land at daylight, she can quickly become dehydrated.

The nest had to be relocated to a higher site. This is another reason for early patrols. Relocation must happen within a few hours after the eggs are laid to prevent damage to the fragile embryos.

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