Going Turtling! Week 7: Goal Setting and Nesting Sites!

Week seven we met our Goal for turtle capture!! We caught 6 turtles, with the sex ratio being 1 male and 5 females. We made it past 64, which we didn’t even think that we would get close to! Our 64th turtle was a tinly little male, roughly 1-2 years in age. Both I and my partner took pictures with the little guy!

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It was a really exciting moment for the lab (even if the number was kind of arbitrary). On top of that we had no idea that we would be catching nearly as many as we did!

On top of this, we discovered a small beach that was being used as a nesting site for several turtles throughout the summer. Sadly, we found several predated nests there as well. Throughout the summer we tried a few different methods of raccoon deterents, but none seemed to work. We even discussed ideas with several people in other labs and they all had similar stories. That being said, with a population as large as the one we encountered, if that many nests are being predated, there must be twice as many successful clutches!

Week 7 was our last week of heavy capture, despite this, we still had no recaptures! This is a topic that had puzzled my lab all summer. The catlett islands seem to be a highly suitable habitat for the terps, but why weren’t we recapturing any? It was a question that we began to seriosuly consider around this week, and one we still ponder as the project comes to a close. Whatever, the answer, the weather was beautiful, the traps were set, and we were ready to continue on for our last few weeks of turtling!

Total Turtle Count: 66!!!