Beach Patrol Programs Return to Jekyll Island
Spring is in full swing, and on Jekyll Island, that means it’s time to hit the beach for another season of sea turtle nesting research.
Nesting season on Jekyll Island spreads from May to August, overlapping slightly with the July to October hatching season, and May 1 marks the first patrol of the summer. During patrols, staff at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and members of the AmeriCorps Research Team walk along Jekyll’s beaches every day, looking for signs of sea turtle nests and hatchlings. Once the sun sets, the research teams head back to the sandy shores for their night patrols, when they look for turtles to tag for future monitoring purposes.
During these months of nesting, the Sea Turtle Center staff offer guests several interactive programs to the general public to broaden their understanding of sea turtle nesting habits. While on Jekyll Island, you’ll certainly take advantage of these exciting and unique trips of discovery! This season, the Center will offer:
- Ride with Night Patrol (May/June-July): Participants have the opportunity to ride on ATV patrols along with GSTC biologists to locate nesting female sea turtles.
- “Egg-sperience” Dawn Patrol (July-September/October): Participants accompany GSTC biologists on a morning patrol as they monitor and excavate sea turtle nests.
- Turtle walks (June-July): After a 30-45 minute presentation at the GSTC on the natural history of sea turtles, guests head to the beach for a guided tour aimed towards discovering a nesting sea turtle.
- Nest walks (August-September): Guests learn about coastal ecology during a 30-minute walk on the beach. They then meet up with the GSTC biologists to observe nest excavations.
- Nest Trackers (nesting season): 2013 is the launch of this brand new program where participants sign up to receive updates on a selected nest. They will receive an official certificate, information on the female who laid the nest, a notification when the nest is close to hatching, and a final progress report after the nest has been inventoried.
For more information on these programs, visit georgiaseaturtlecenter.org.