two hatching turtles coming out of HIOC logo graphic (no TM)Turtle Sense: Better Protection for Sea Turtles with Improved Beach Access for People

Turtle Sense is an Ocean Center project that we hope will improve the way that people and sea turtles share the beaches of     Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Why is Turtle Sense needed?turtle nest site sign

To best protect sea turtle hatchlings, Cape Hatteras National Seashore currently implements a management protocol which involves beach closures to pedestrians and ORVs. This is necessary protocol but Turtle Sense may assist in reducing the amount of time the closures need to be installed, while providing more valuable information about sea turtle biology!

What are the expected benefits?Turtle hatchlings march to the sea.

  • Better understanding of sea turtle biology.
  • Better protection of turtle hatchlings.
  • Possibly shorter beach closure timeframes.
  • Improved opportunities for visitors see a nest “boil” and watch hatchlings crawl into the ocean.
  • Lower cost of nest management.

How does it work?

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Sensors are sealed in plastic and look very similar to turtle eggs. An eggs is about the size of a ping pong ball.

Small sensors that motion are placed inside the nest. Using mobile phone technology, sensor data is sent on a regular basis, via the Internet, for analysis. The data is used to predict when hatchlings will emerge from the nest.

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Where can I get more detailed information and support Turtle Sense?

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Turtle Sense is a joint effort of the Ocean Center, Nerds Without Borders, and the National Park Service.