A record number 4,604 sea turtle nests were laid this season on S.C. beaches according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marine Turtle Conservation Program. We’re delighted that a quite a few of those turtles chose the beach at DeBordieu to start their families! My hat’s off to all those SCUTE volunteers who get out there at the crack of dawn to make sure the nests are reported and protected from predators.
In addition to 4,596 nests laid by loggerhead sea turtles, there were seven green sea turtle nests (five on Garden City Beach, one on Kiawah Island, and one on North Island) and one leatherback nest (Kiawah Island).
Standardized surveys on index loggerhead nesting beaches in S.C. from 1982 – 2012 report high, medium and low years. Both 2010 and 2011 were medium to high years.
The 2012 nesting season was of particular interest because the nest count trend has never had three consecutive years where nesting has shown an increase. Loggerhead nesting in 2012 not only topped the previous two years, but was also the highest year on record since 1982. Historical nest counts from the 1970’s indicate we still have a bit to go to reach recovery levels but this may be the beginning.
DeBordieu owners are proud to be big supporters of S.C.U.T.E., SCDNR and The SC SEA TURTLE HOSPITAL. For more information, visit: http://www.debordieuscute.org/.