See You Soon, Sea Turtles: Preparing for the 2023 Nesting Season
April 17, 2023
by Paul Hillbrand, Sea Turtle Biologist
Our unique summer residents are completing their migration home! That’s right, loggerhead sea turtles are returning to Bald Head Island for nesting season! Can you believe it? This is officially Bald Head Island Conservancy’s 40th year discovering, learning, conserving, & preserving the loggerhead sea turtle population that calls BHI home! Similar to many residents of BHI, our loggerheads are “part-time” residents, as nesting season is from May 1 through November 15. As we embark on the 2023 nesting season, the Conservancy would like to remind everyone to be mindful of the beach and its natural inhabitants during the summer months.
Only RED light is allowed on BHI beaches at night.
Sea turtles rely on the darkness of the beach and the relative brightness of the ocean to nest and find their way to the sea. White light confuses and mis-orients both, nesting females and hatchlings.
BHIC asks for all outdoor & indoor lights projecting onto the beach to be turned off.
Again, sea turtles rely on the darkness of the beach and the relative brightness of the ocean to nest and find their way to the sea. White light confuses and mis-orients both, nesting females and hatchlings.
To not disturb nesting sea turtles or hatchlings.
If you observe either a nesting sea turtle or hatchling on the beaches this summer, turn off all lights (even RED), keep quiet, and watch at a respectable distance to not alter their natural behavior.
If you see a nesting female, hatchling or injured sea turtle, please call our Wildlife Response Hotline at 910-457-0089 x5
To completely fill in ALL holes and flatten sand structures on the beach.
Holes can trap sea turtles and are a safety hazard for humans.
To remove ALL property and litter from the beach.
Beach chairs, tents, umbrellas, etc., can entangle and even injure nesting sea turtles.
To take nothing, leave only footprints.
Dogs must be on a leash from sunset to sunrise.
To stop by Turtle Central to purchase a RED flashlight or headlamp!
As a BHI resident or visitor, you play a vital role in the conservation of our sea turtles! BHIC’s Sea Turtle Protection Team looks forward to seeing everyone on the beach this summer. Thank you for doing your part to make Bald Head Island a safe haven for sea turtles and more! To learn more about the sea turtles that call Bald Head Island home, please come visit the Conservancy’s Fleming Environmental Education Center or attend one of our education programs.
P.S. If you made it this far, Public Excavations will return this summer!
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