The Hunting Island beach is a nesting ground for the Loggerhead turtle. Loggerhead turtles born on Hunting Island will return to this beach to lay their own eggs. There are rules we all must follow to help protect the nesting grounds and to ensure the Loggerhead continue to survive their native environment.
The Nesting Cycle
Sometime around mid-May, female Loggerhead turtles begin to drag their huge bodies up onto the beach. This usually occurs at night or in the early morning. Once a female has found her desired nesting spot, she will dig a hole using her back flippers. She will lay about 100 - 160 eggs into the hole and when done, she will cover the hole with sand, again using her back flippers. She then will return to the ocean and will not return until her next nesting season. If you should find a nest, it is important NOT to disturb it.
If the nest looks new or is damaged, please report it to a ranger.
The eggs begin to hatch, usually at night and during a low tide, and the new baby turtles scamper to the sea. Many birds and other predators somehow know the hatching is occurring and will position themselves between the nest and sea. Artificial lights will often confuse the new turtles making them head for the light rather than the sea, usually with fatal results. This is why artificial lights are prohibited on the beach at night during nesting season. It is illegal to touch, handle or pick up a baby turtle unless certified. You can however assist a baby by walking with it to the sea.