Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team Begins Monitoring Sea Turtle Nesting

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team has begun a sea turtle nesting monitoring program with funding assistance from Dominion Foundation.

As part of the program, trained volunteers and staff will undertake daily morning beach patrols, actively monitoring and documenting evidence that a sea turtle has nested. If a nesting site is identified, it will be marked with posts, a self-releasing screen, and signage identifying the nest as a locally and federally protected area. Trained Stranding Response Team members will monitor the nest until it hatches.

Stranding Response Team members will conduct nesting surveys on City-owned beaches, including the resort area and Croatan. The surveys started May 25 and will continue through the summer.

Sea turtles typically nest between May and August, and Virginia Beach has been home to 111 nests since 1970. The nests have been from three species: loggerheads, greens, and Kemp’s ridleys. In 2014, two nests were identified and monitored.

If a sea turtle or a nest is discovered, please call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team’s 24-hour hotline at 757-385-7575.

 

The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program’s mission is to promote the conservation of marine animal species through stranding response, research, rehabilitation and education. It is largely a volunteer-based group operating from the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Care Center in Virginia Beach. The program is supported by the Virginia Aquarium Foundation through donations from the community, and grant-making organizations. To report a dead or live stranded marine mammal or sea turtle call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program 24-hour hotline at (757) 385-7575.

 

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