Turtle Patrol

Turtle Patrol

Categories: Community, Nature

With over 10,000 acres of land and 10 miles of beach, Kiawah serves as a vital nesting ground for loggerhead turtles.

Nesting activity typically begins in mid-May and will continue into early August. Nests normally contain between 100 and 150 eggs. The eggs will hatch in approximately 2 months and the hatchlings will make their way down the beach and into the surf. Female loggerheads are quite wary when they come ashore to nest and can be easily frightened or disoriented by lights or loud noises. Please do not approach or disturb nesting turtles and abstain from shining lights at them.

Nesting efforts are monitored on our beaches by a group of resident volunteers each year. The Turtle Program has been in existence since 1973 and the Town of Kiawah Island has provided funding and logistical support to the program since 1990. During the nesting season, volunteers patrol the entire beach by truck each morning to locate nests laid the previous night. An attempt is made to locate the actual nest and mark it with a numbered post. Nests which are located too low on the beach are moved landward in order to protect them from being washed over by high tides. When nests begin to hatch, numerous groups of volunteers patrol sections of beach daily to check for emergence of hatchlings. At some point after hatching, each nest is excavated and an inventory is taken of the nest contents.

If you are interested in volunteering for Turtle Patrol, contact Lynne Sager at lynnesager@me.com