Leatherback Sea Turtle Have Returned to the Outer Banks After More Than a Decade

Leatherback Sea Turtle Have Returned to the Outer Banks After More Than a Decade

Conservationists are celebrating June 20 as the day they found a leatherback sea turtle nest with over 90 eggs on Ocracoke Island.

The announcement was made on social media recently when conservationists found 90 eggs in a leatherback sea turtle nest. It was the first nest found on Ocracoke Island since 2012.

The announcement came from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS). It was more than just finding one after not seeing evidence of leatherback sea turtles for a decade.

They said: "Since keeping record, this is only the sixth Leatherback Sea Turtle to nest on Cape Hatteras National Seashore."

The announcement went further than talking about the leatherback sea turtle; there were other sea turtles spotted in the area, including Kemps release turtles and green sea turtles.

They knew those additional turtles were in the area because they also laid eggs this season.

The leatherback sea turtle left more than a nest as evidence that she deposited eggs on the shore. There was also an enormous track in the sand, left behind by 'the largest sea turtle in the world.'

 width= Photos: Pixabay / 12019

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that sea turtles may swim up to 10,000 miles every year and can dive some 4,000 feet under the surface of the water. They reach lengths of 6 feet long and can weigh up to 1,100 pounds.

Sea turtles live their entire life in the ocean, but they need to breathe air. They can hold their breath for a tremendous amount of time, staying under the water for up to 85 minutes.

A clutch of leatherback eggs may include 100 individual eggs. It takes 60 days for the baby turtles to incubate, and then they start emerging, working their way to the water.

The Leatherback Trust states that only about 6% of those hatchlings survive the first year. It's a good thing that hundreds of them may hatch at any given time.

When the leatherback mother chose Ocracoke as her nesting spot, she had some help. After laying the eggs, CHNS staff moved the clutch to a safe location.

According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, there are only about 35,000 females left in the wild. In the United States, they are listed as an endangered species. The red list, on the other hand, notes them as being vulnerable and decreasing.

The only time leatherback sea turtles leave the water is when the female lays the eggs. They nest every two to four years, but they may be on the shore to lay eggs several times per season.

We look forward to seeing more of this amazing animal.

Timothy Roberts

I love to write and it keeps me busy. I've been working online, full time since 1999. When you can't find me at the keyboard, you'll find me getting as much as I can out of life. I enjoy living simply, playing games, visiting the beach, and spending time with my family.

Back to blog