Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 18

Cool facts about
loggerheads

Anna Taylor watches a "morning nester"
loggerhead turtle on Little Cumberland
Island in July 2016.

Some Georgia sea turtles like to
"island-hop." A turtle that nests on
St. Simons one year might build her
next nest on Jekyll Island or on a
North Carolina beach.

Hatchlings take 25 to 30 years
to become adults.
If you have only one night to look
for a sea turtle, Jekyll Island is your
best bet.
Sea turtles eat marine creatures such
as knobbed whelks and crabs, and
some eat jellyfish. If all of the turtles
disappeared, "imagine an ocean
full of jellyfish," Ondich says. Sea

turtles are an important part
of the food chain.
18

Researchers sometimes have to relocate sea turtles' nests to safer parts of the
beach.
CARETTA RESEARCH PROJECT

Most loggerhead moms make four
nests each summer, with about
110 eggs per nest. About
60 percent to 70 percent of the eggs
hatch successfully, but not all of the
babies survive as they crawl over the
beach or hit the waves. "Anything
with a mouth bigger than 3 inches
can gobble up a hatchling," Ondich
says, "but by design, other animals
need to eat, too."

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Big Bertha, a turtle tagged on
Cumberland Island in 1980, may be
one of Georgia's oldest loggerheads,
says Breanna Ondich, a research
specialist at Jekyll Island's Georgia
Sea Turtle Center. Estimated at
80 to 90 years old, Bertha is still
building nests.

Go behind the scenes with the
St. Simons Island Sea Turtle Project.

Experience an eco-vacation with
the Caretta Research Project (CRP).
Although it's not in the Golden
Isles, the Caretta Research Project
on Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge in Savannah draws volunteers
from around the world who pay to
stay on-site for a week of training
and hands-on research. You might
measure a turtle, count eggs or help
relocate a vulnerable nest, says Kristina Carroll, CRP director.
"We can't guarantee you'll even
see a turtle; it's totally up to the
turtles!" she emphasizes. But she
says volunteers fall in love with them
and go home as turtle ambassadors.
You'll be well-fed, Carroll says,
but the site is rustic, with no air conditioning and limited electricity, and
Wassaw is accessible only by boat.
Visit carettaresearchproject.org for
more information.
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

Join Sea Turtle Project volunteers for free or low-cost programs
from May through September. You'll
learn about Georgia's turtles as you
walk the beach, watch nest excavations or participate in other events.
Find the schedule at facebook.com/
ssiturtles.

Take an educational walk on
Sea Island.
Sea Island hosts a short, nighttime walk for small groups of guests
at the resort. Because turtle walks
require a permit from the Georgia
Department of Natural Resources,
few other places on the Golden Isles
offer them. For information, go to
seaisland.com/recreation/activities/
nature-activities. It is recommended
that visitors who plan to stay at a
Sea Island property call (855) 5724975 in advance to inquire about
dates and times and to book spots
on a planned turtle walk.
Lynn Coulter is a freelance writer
from Douglasville.
GEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://www.facebook.com/ssiturtles http://www.facebook.com/ssiturtles http://www.seaisland.com/recreation/activities/nature-activities http://www.seaisland.com/recreation/activities/nature-activities http://www.carettaresearchproject.org http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - June 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 11
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 12
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Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 14
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 15
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 16
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 17
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 18
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 19
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 20
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 21
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Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 24
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 25
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Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - 27
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Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - June 2018 - Cover4
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