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Leatherback hatchlings discovered at Cape Romain's Cape Island
Southeast Region, June 14, 2005
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Cape Romain refuge staff and volunteers are always excited to find nests of the threatened loggerhead sea turtle, on refuge beaches, but when they discovered an endangered leatherback sea turtle nest on a Cape Island beach, June 14, complete with 87 eggs, they were ecstatic. Then, two months later when 47 palm-sized, hatchlings boiled out of the nest, they were able to confirm the discovery of the first leatherback nest on the refuge. This is, in fact, only the fifth, recorded, leatherback nest found in South Carolina. Nesting mostly in the tropics and southern Florida, the leatherback is believed to be the most pelagic (spread out) and migratory of the marine reptiles. The leatherback turtle forages in the Atlantic from the Caribbean tropical islands to the cold waters off Newfoundland.

Contributed by: Patricia Lynch, Park Ranger, Cape Romain NWR, Awendaw, SC

No contact information available. Please contact Larry Dean, 612-713-5313, larry_dean@fws.gov
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