This year is shaping up to be a record year for Sea Turtles in Hilton Head (see Record Sea Turtles for 2019), but that is not the headline from Thursday, August 27. Instead, the spotlight was on hatchlings emerging from the nest of the rarest Sea Turtle in the world, the Kemp Ridley turtle. The subhead would be that these baby turtles also came from the first nest identified on Hilton Head this season almost 60 days ago.
After a few days, the Turtle Patrol will wait a few more days and then go and see how many eggs didn’t hatch. From there they will be able to determine how many new Kemp Ridley turtles are now swimming off our coast. (We will update our Facebook Page with the totals, so ‘like’ us there if you want an alert).
The Kemp’s Ridley turtle is not only the rarest, but it is also a good bit smaller than the much more common Loggerheads that make Hilton Head their home. An adult Loggerhead can reach 350 pounds while the Kemp’s Ridley as an adult usually weighs between 150 and 200 pounds.
NOTE: When we wrote the story about the Record Sea Turtle nest rate for 2019 just ten days ago we had reached 250 nests on Hilton Head. As of the date of this story (June 28), SeaTurtle.org is reporting 332 nests!