Folly Beach Turtle Watch Program in Folly Beach, Charleston County, United States | Animal Welfare
Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) crawl onto the beach at Folly between May and September to lay eggs. Females nest between 2 and 5 times in one season and do not return for two to three years to repeat the nesting cycle. It is believed that they nest on the beach where they were hatched decades earlier. Therefore, the sustainability of nesting at Folly is dependent upon proper management of these nesting sights.
Because Folly Beach is prone to severe erosion and the dune system is unstable, the nesting sites are precarious and require daily monitoring. Mother turtles come ashore at night to lay approximately 100 eggs. The eggs incubate for 45 to 60 days. Hatchlings emerge, usually at night when sand temperatures cool and the chance of predation is lessened. Before their protein-packed burst of energy is depleted, they must swim to the shelter of Gulf Stream sargassam floats thirty miles away.