Discover Loggerhead Turtle Nesting

By:Marie McAden

Date:6/22/2012

 Loggerhead turtle making its way across the beach.
 Loggerhead turtle making its way across the beach.


Loggerhead turtles, those seafaring stars of the South Carolina coast, start to show up for their annual on-shore, egg-laying duties around the beginning of May. The earliest nests were reported April 30 on Harbor Island in Beauf​ort County and Cape Island in the ​Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

That ties the record for the earliest nest on record since the loggerhead program was started in the late 1970s. Typically, loggerheads come ashore to lay their eggs from May to August and as late as October. Over the last decade, an average of 3,378 nests have been documented each season.

The average clutch has 120 eggs. It takes 55 to 60 days before the babies start to pop out of their eggs and beeline it across the beach to the ocean. That would put the start of the hatchlings return to the sea around mid to late July. To check out this year’s progress, click h​ere

Want to help this endangered species continue to grow and prosper? The Department of Natural Resources Marine Turtle Conservation Program asks residents and visitors to keep “Light’s Out for Loggerheads”. Adult females come ashore to nest at night and need a dark beach to be able to navigate in and out of the ocean. Artificial lights in homes can disorient the expectant mothers.

If you’re staying in an oceanfront home or condo, please:
* Turn out all outdoor lights visible from the beach from dusk to dawn through October.
* Close blinds and drapes on windows that face the ocean.
* Sea turtles are bashful. Do not shine lights on them or take flash photography.
* Fill in large holes dug on the beach and remove tents and chairs at the end of the day to make it easier for mamas and hatchlings to trek across the sand. Turtles are not Olympic athletes and could get trapped in holes.
* If you happen to catch a sea turtle nesting, leave her alone. You can watch from a distance, but please don’t disturb!

To learn more about the sea turtles and the Lights Out for Loggerheads program, click h​ere.

Related Content

Watch for Turtles on South Carolina Beaches
Loggerhead nesting season runs from May through October. During this time, nests are laid on barrier islands throughout South Carolina.

Featured Products

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
Coast

Awendaw

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
A stretch of barrier islands and salt marshes that make up one of the nation's most outstanding wildlife refuges. The 66,287-acre refuge is a true wilderness experience. ...

Featured products and attractions in "Discover Loggerhead Turtle Nesting"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Wild Dunes Resort/Isle of Palms
Coast

Isle of Palms

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Nestled on the northern tip of Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the coast of South Carolina, Wild Dunes Resort is located less than 30 minutes from the charm and ...
Vancouver Motel
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Oceanfront location near fishing pier and area amusements; Efficiencies available. Property is Pet Friendly. ...
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Coast

Hilton Head Island

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a 2,000-acre resort destination located in the middle of Hilton Head Island, bounded by three miles of Atlantic Ocean beach on one sid ...
Wild Dunes Resort - Links Course
Coast

Isle of Palms

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
This Tom Fazio-designed course is highly regarded and regularly ranked in the Top 100 in the U.S. by both Golf and Golf Digest. Rolling fairways. Rustling palms. Challeng ...
Kingfisher Inn
Coast

Garden City

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Oeanfront condos, six different styles, full kitchens, daily housekeeping, next to the Garden City Fishing Pier, fishing discounts. ...
Windsurfer
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Oceanfront location near area amusements; Children's pool; AAA member, jacuzzi suites ...