Assateague Island got a special treat earlier this month, as about 100 tiny loggerhead turtles hatched from a single nest on the Maryland end of the island.
Assateague Island National Seashore posted a beautiful video of the hatchlings making their way from the Over Sand Vehicle zone, where the nest was located, out into the ocean.
The national park says it’s the first time they know of that a sea turtle has successfully nested on Assateague Island. It’s also the largest number of hatchlings ever recorded. Loggerhead turtles typically nest on sandy beaches from North Carolina to Florida, and it’s rare for loggerheads to have successful nests north of Virginia.
The park’s resources management team monitors a 20-mile stretch of Maryland coastline on the island for sea turtle nesting activity. Staff makes early morning patrols to locate new nesting sites for sea turtles and other threatened species, including the piping plover. Park biologists also install temporary closures and fencing around breeding sights to avoid human disturbance.
The national park proclaimed on Facebook: “We are totally stoked about the prospect of finding another successful nest next summer!”