Fripp Island Annual Project Report for the2000 nesting season
Our two miles of nestable beach was divided into two equal zones
and covered by foot patrol.
Each team consisted of two to three
volunteers and was given the responsibility of patrolling a
Track observations were used to discover
body pits which were then probed with a wooden dowel.
Hand digging was used to expose the top layer of eggs
The determination to relocate the nest
and selection of the new location
was made using the Nest Relocation Decision Tree as
supplied by SCDNR.
Nests were moved only when
perceived that they would be completely destroyed
and to the next best available site closest to the original nest location .
- Marking Nests;:
The body pit was delimited by three or four stakes linked together
with flagging tape. A wooden nest marker was placed 10"-12"
shore side of the nest chamber.
Using an indelible marking pen the nest number, date, # eggs if
known or I.S. if not relocated, Zone and volunteers initials.
- Nest Monitoring;
Nests were monitored during the course of the daily patrols.
Information as to signs of predation, overwash and incubation were
reported through the use of a centrally located log book.
- Determining Emergence;
Daily patrols would find bowling, hatchling tracks or most often than not
ghost crab activity as the hatchlings became active inside the nest chamber.
Due to the large expanse over which the nests were distributed it was
also necessary to rely on the observations of the public at large.
- Inventory Methods
Inventories were executed by hand digging of all nests and
physically examining and counting each egg or shell.
- Time of Day
Nest inventories were conducted immediately after the morning patrols.
Predation this season was limited to ghost crabs. There was very little
evidence of first night predation. Most predation occurred just prior to the time
Predation at emergence is an unknown as almost all nests hatched
Whenever possible ghost crab traps were employed or the crabs were
Beach and second row house lights will always distract hatchlings.
Flyers were distributed and announcements were posted. The Fripp
information TV channel carried a "spot" for the whole season and
residents were individually interviewed and their cooperation was requested.
At this time all compliance is voluntary and all inquires are met with either
"I forgot" or "I didn't know".
One nest was lost to a storm tide that scarped the dune on which it had been laid.
Two other nests on that same dune were relocated to higher ground.
Twenty of our thirty seven nests were over washed to some extent.
- Crowd Management;
We had no problems in this area and required no Management controls
of any kind.
All information available was made available to the public
whenever they were available.
- No formal education programs were conducted under this permit.
- Flyers and posters were distributed (attachment #1).
- One article was published in the community publication (attachment #2)
and one TV spot was carried on the information channel (attachment #3)
No turtle walks or hatchery watches were conducted under this permit.
- While some of our volunteers had many years of prior experience
this was the first year for most bringing our average experience level to two years.
All were trained for this season either collectively or individually.
- As a result of this training all of our volunteers were able to
patrol, probe, relocate and inventory nests. Since data analysis and reporting
were beyond the scope of their training they were not responsible for same.
- Project concerns;
We are concerned that with the increase of building along the beach front
including the possibility of a multi storied hotel our hatchlings will not be able to find the sea
unless they can be shielded from this distraction and
we are concerned that we won't be able to motivate our volunteers without the added impetus
provided by a collabarating scientist.
- Technical concerns and needs;