The Turtle Season Begins in North Carolina -- How Can You Protect Their Habitats?

Mark Star

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The turtle season runs from May through August.

Turtles are very beautiful and unique reptiles. They have boney or cartilaginous shells; these shells cover their bodies. The shell of a turtle is developed from its ribs. It grows over the reptile’s lifetime. In some turtles, you will see growth rings on the scutes (scales) covering the shell. Turtles are found in North Carolina in a large number. Their habitats include the ocean, rives, freshwater lakes, forests, dry sands, and hills.

Loggerhead Turtle Nests Are Everywhere

Currently, more than 15 loggerhead turtle nests are present in the state park and more than 35 nests can be found in the county. There are only a few green turtles in South and North Carolina. People get excited when they see turtles, but they forget that they are dealing with wild animals that are afraid of them. People want to get closer to them, try to take plenty of pictures, and this causes problems for turtles.

You Cannot Possess Them

You may fall in love with a sea turtle, but you are not allowed to possess them. It is unlawful to take or possess any endangered, special, or threatened species. All the turtles of the families Emydidae and Trionychidae are protected from collection, destruction, and possession. Also, people are not allowed to buy or sell native terrapins or turtles without permission. Possession permits are required for the possession, purchase, sale, transportation, and importation of five or more turtles or reptiles. Another thing you should remember is that no turtles, whether exotic or native, can be released into the wild. Anyone who encounters sea turtles should stay away, turn off all lights and be quiet.

Protect Sea Turtle Habitats

Here is what you need to do.

  1. You should reduce marine debris that may entangle or be accidentally eaten by sea turtles.
  2. You can participate in coastal clean-ups and reduce the use of plastics. This will keep beaches and oceans clean.
  3. You can carry reusable shopping bags and water bottles.
  4. You should keep nesting beaches dark and safe for turtles.

Watch for Turtles on Beaches

Loggerhead nesting season runs from May through August. During this time, nests are laid on barrier islands throughout South Carolina and North Carolina. This is the time when female turtles come out of the waters and make their way to the dunes. They lay their legs in nests. These eggs incubate for 55 to 60 days, and the babies emerge till September. It is integral to protect these beautiful creatures. Loggerheads are one of four types of sea turtles that visit South Carolina.

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