Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials estimate that 25,000 sea turtle hatchlings made their way to sea this summer from the more than 370 nests tracked along the park’s beaches.
Outer Banks Forever, the seashore’s official nonprofit partner, shared this and more Friday about the nest and sea turtle statistics park rangers collected during the 2023 nesting season.
Of all the sea turtle nests in the state, 19% were found at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Park staff tracked 378 sea turtle nests this year. Of those, 86% were loggerheads, 50 green sea turtles, three Kemp’s ridleys and one leatherback nest. Total eggs counted were 39,085, the average eggs per nest were 119, and average incubation time was 56 days.
Outer Banks Forever supporters adopted 283 nests this year through the nonprofit’s Adopt A Sea Turtle Nest program, raising $28,987 to help fun projects and programs at Cape Hatteras.
“Sea turtles are some of our favorite visitors here in the Outer Banks,” Outer Banks Forever Director Jessica Barnes said in a statement. “We’re so grateful to our national park staff who help protect the sea turtles, their nests and the habitat they need to thrive. Each donor who adopts a nest on the Seashore helps us invest in protecting and enhancing this amazing place.”