Turtle Sense / 2015 Season Results

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We monitored nests at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore during 2015. For detailed day-by-day records of our predictions, please go to our Google Group

Prediction methodology

Data was uploaded to our server every 4 hours after 40 days of incubation. An automated process creates graphs of the data. Predictions were made by Samuel Wantman by manually looking at those graphs. The data was typically interpreted only once a day, at the end of the day (around Midnight PST or 3AM local time). If frequent wide fluctuations in the data had been observed for the preceding day (usually following a large dip in the data), nestlings were predicted to emerge 5 days after the start of the activity. This was typically 4 days after the observation. Sometimes a day of looking at the data was missed so a prediction might only be for 3 days after. If 60 days went by without any signs of hatching activity a prediction was made that the nest would be unproductive.

Graphs of monitored nests

Note: The x-axis is the number of days since the nest was discovered. This number is likely off by a few hours. Nests are discovered during turtle patrol and a sensor is installed in the nest at that time and registered in the database. Since the nest was laid sometime during the previous night, the exact incubation time might be off. Similarly, the date that emergence was first observed is often the morning after when the turtle patrol notes tracks in the sand. Both of these errors tend to cancel each other out. Note that NH002 is off by 8 days because it was not registered until 8 days after the nest was discovered. Activity several days after emergence at the right edge of charts is from excavation of the nests.

    NPS code Sensor Day of
Day that was
Day 1st
2015 - NH007R after emergence.png NH007R AA0009 --- --- 51 There was too much noise in this nest to be able to make any predictions. This was a very early nest -- day 51. No obvious explanation for all the noise. The sensor had moved from its installation position in the nest. Might be a faulty sensor.
2015 - AA0005 after emergence (7-22).png NH002 AA0005 48 (56) revised next day 52 (60) 52 (60) (Note, the days listed in the x-axis of this chart is off by 8 days. Add 8 to the numbers you see.) Emergence was predicted for Tuesday evening, July 21st. Turtle patrol reported 1 hatching track and a depression on 07/22. (More might have come out, there was a severe rain storm the previous night.)
2015 - NH004 after emergence (7-24) sensor AA0007.png NH004 AA0007 52 55 54 Emergence was predicted for Thursday evening, July 23rd. The first 15 or so were observed the evening before. The turtle patrol observed tracks for over 25 hatchlings on the 23rd.
2015 - NH003 (7-28 final) sensor AA0006.png NH003 AA0006 56 60 59 Emergence was predicted for Friday evening, July 24th. The first few hatchlings were observed the evening before. There was a boil on the 25th.
2015 - NH014 (7-28) sensor AA0013.png NH014 AA0013 50 54 54 There was a boil the night of the 26th, sometime after 9PM and before 6:30AM the next morning, with too many tracks to count.
2015 - NH015 (7-31) sensor AA0011.png NH015 AA0011 54 57 56 Three hatchlings emerged on the 29th and there was a boil on the 30th.
2015 - NH022 (7-31) sensor AA0016.png NH022 AA0016 48 51 51 There was minimal data to use to generate a prediction, but even so the prediction was accurate. 30+ hatchlings emerged on the 29th.
2015 - NH023 (8-11) sensor AA0017.png NH023 AA0017 53 58 57 The morning of 8/7 a hatchling was found wandering near the dunes. Rain washed out the tracks so it is not certain how many emerged the evening of 8/6. There was a record of 9 hatchlings on the 9th and 5 on the 10th. A total of 85 eggshells were counted. It seems likely that most of the hatchlings left on Thursday evening (8/6).
2015 - NH024 (8-10) sensor AA0025.png NH024 AA0025 50 55 56 More than 20 tracks were counted the morning of the 8th. On 8/9 the activity recorded was from the nest being washed out. Very few hatched or unhatched were found after the washout, so it is unclear exactly what happened.
2015 - NH013 (8-12) sensor AA0010.png NH013 AA0010 --- --- --- This nest was thought to be infertile, and it was. Excavated on Aug 12
2015 - NH036 (8-13) sensor AA0024.png NH036 AA0024 53 57 58 20+ tracks noticed by Turtle Patrol on 8/13. Only about 1/4 of the eggs hatched.
2015 - NH055R (8-16) sensor AA0026.png NH055R AA0026 --- --- 50 Only 7 of 129 eggs were viable. No hatching activity noticed in data.
2015 - NH041 (8-16) sensor AA0020.png NH041 AA0020 52 56 or 57 59 Unusually long period of hatching activity. Nest boiled at 10:48 PM on Aug 15th.
2015 - NH056 (8-17) sensor AA0027.png NH056 AA0027 50 54 55 132 turtles hatched. 8 eggs didn't make it.
2015 - NH058 (8-17) sensor AA0028.png NH058 AA0028 51 55 55 The graph is from August 17th (day 53). data quieted on Tuesday the 18th. There were still 28 hatchlings in the nest when excavated on the 21st.
2015 - NH074 sensor AA0029.png NH074 AA0029 48 52 55 7 predated eggs may have caused premature prediction.
2015 - NH078 sensor AA0014.png NH078 AA0014 50 54 or 55 59 75 hatchlings rescued from compacted sand and overwashes. High tides were approaching and data showed that the hatchlings emergence was delayed. Hatchlings likely would have died from the high tides. 20 unhatched eggs were reburied but non hatched. All were leucystic.
2015 - NH085 sensor AA0008.png NH085 AA0008 52 56 58 hard crust may have delayed emergence.
2015 - NH094 sensor AA0015.png NH094 AA0015 51 55 56 Patrol examined the nest on day 52 after 14 overwashes and confirmed there was a live hatchling.
2015 - NH105 sensor AA0018.png NH105 AA0018 --- --- --- lots of overwashes seen in data. No prediction made. No live hatchlings.
2015 - NH134R sensor AA0019.png NH134R AA0019 58 61 or later 65 roughly half hatched and emerged. Later nests seem to emerge longer than 5 days after hatching activity noticed in data.
2015 - NH138 sensor AA0009.png NH138 AA0009 54 58 or later 61 Excavated on day 61 due to overwash. Earlier traces of emergence may not have been seen.
2015 - NH139R sensor AA0005.png NH139R AA0005 54 58 or later 59
2015 - NH142R sensor AA0021.png NH142R AA0021 53 56 or later 57? Signs of emergence obliterated by high tides. Nest check on day 57 revealed hatchlings. 6 hatchlings remained when excavated on day 59.
2015 - NH143R sensor AA0006.png NH143R AA0006 --- --- 57? Unit stopped reporting on day 45. No prediction made.
2015 - NH151R sensor AA0007.png NH151R AA0007 --- --- --- No predictions. Only 2 live hatchlings (one emerged). Major disturbances to nest from Hurricane Joaquin.
2015 - NH157 sensor AA0013.png NH157 AA0013 --- --- --- Nest and equipment completely washed away by severe weather. Heavy erosion and scarping.
2015 - NH158R sensor AA0011.png NH158R AA0011 --- --- --- No predictions. Nest excavated due to severe sand accumulation and compaction. No eggs hatched.
2015 - NH161R sensor AA0029.png NH161R AA0029 --- --- --- Nest and equipment completely washed away by severe weather.