From May 1st through October 31st, the St. Joseph Peninsula Turtle Patrol Volunteers survey the southernmost six miles of beach on St. Joseph Peninsula to assist in the continued monitoring of sea turtle nesting and hatching activity.
Every morning from May 1st through October 31st, the volunteers of the St. Joseph Peninsula Turtle Patrol survey approximately six miles of beach on the St. Joseph Peninsula to assist in the continued monitoring of sea turtle nesting and hatching activity.
In Search of the “Crawl”
During nesting season, the Turtle Patrol looks for the tracks or “crawl” of the adult turtle coming from the water. When a crawl is discovered, volunteers follow it up to the body pit and then dig to locate the egg chamber. Once the eggs are located, the volunteers record measurements on the depth of the eggs, the length and width of the crawl, and various other measurements.
Digging For Gold
After locating the egg clutch and recording all of the measurements of the nest, Turtle Patrol volunteers re-cover the nest with sand. Before the nest is completely covered, a metal screen is placed over the clutch to deter any would-be predators. The area is then marked off with wooden stakes wrapped in tape and a sign is attached to warn passersby not to disturb the sea turtle’s nest.
& They’re Off!
During hatching season, nests are checked daily for signs of hatching. Three days after a nest has hatched, volunteers excavate the nest to collect data on its contents and determine hatch success