Town of Kiawah Island finishes inventory of sea turtle nests

This year’s nest total was slightly above 2020
Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 8:14 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2021 at 8:37 PM EDT
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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The town of Kiawah Island’s 2021 sea turtle nest inventory process wrapped up Sunday morning after finding slightly more nests than last year.

In total, the inventory found 347 nests this year, up from 342 in 2020, the town wrote in a Facebook post.

The first nest laid was on May 10, while the last one was more than three months later on Aug. 11. Of the 347 nests, 191 stayed where they were laid while 156 were relocated to avoid poor locations like being below the high tide line.

Nests with no signs of emergence are inventoried after 70 days.

The town said turtles deposited nearly 40,000 eggs on its beach this summer.

Volunteers found the first sea turtle nest of the season in South Carolina on Seabrook Island on the morning of May 5, the state’s Department of Natural Resources said at the time, adding the nest was laid the night before.

In 2020, sea turtles laid 5,560 nests on South Carolina beaches, according to the DNR. Four different turtle species nest on the state’s beaches: loggerheads, Kemp’s ridleys, leatherbacks and greens.

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