This tiny turtle, hours old, hatched on a South Carolina barrier island. Multiple organizations monitor, and help if necessary, the endangered Loggerhead Turtles. We were lucky to have been asked by Coastal Expeditions to photograph a few just hatched Loggerheads as they made their first trip into the ocean.
“Every year, the Coastal Expeditions Foundation commits to paying the seasonal salaries of the wildlife biologists in Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge. In the nearly 30 years that we’ve been running ecotours to the island, we’ve seen the important work that the Sea Turtle Team has done to protect loggerhead sea turtles and watched the exponential success of their efforts.” Coastal Expeditions Foundation.
Above is a new hatch Loggerhead that will fit into the palm of your hand. Surviving turtles can reach as large as 800-1,000 pounds (363-463 kilo).
In about 30 years this Turtle (if female) may return to this spot and lay as many as 100 eggs here, and another 3 clutches on other beach heads.
Information on the life of a Loggerhead has been spotty. However now DNA collected here and a few other sites are being studied with surprising results. A Loggerhead returning here to nest may be joining their mother, even grand mother, on the same beach.
We collected these photographs by standing in the surf as the turtles were entering the water. There were 5 turtles found having difficulty in the sands. They were released by a group of children learning about the turtles with a Coastal fundraiser.
The little guy below swam to, and then past me heading out to sea.
Ellen, Passing By Photo, has additional information on her web site.