Sea Turtles

Blackbeard Island and Wassaw National Wildlife Refuges actively research and protect sea turtle populations.

Scroll to see the types of turtles that nest on Wassaw and Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuges

Loggerhead sea turtles

Loggerheads are the most common sea turtle to nest on the Wassaw and Blackbeard Island refuges. Click the buttons below to learn information about this amazing species!

Diet

Mollusks, crustaceans, fish, and other marine animals

Size

Adults weigh around 200-350 lbs. and are approximately 2.5-3.5 ft. long!

Threats & conservation status

Loggerheads are threatened, although some populations are listed as endangered.


Major threats to their population include:

  1. bycatch in fishing gear
  2. loss and degradation of nesting habitat
  3. boat strikes
  4. harvest of turtles/eggs
  5. ocean pollution and marine plastic
  6. climate change

Nesting

Did you know?


When a female loggerhead reaches reproductive age (around 35 years old), she returns to the beach where she hatched to build a nest and lay her eggs!


Each nest contains about 100 eggs. The sex of hatchlings is determined by the temperature of the sand—cooler temperatures produce males and warmer temperatures produce females. After about 2 months incubating in the warm sand, the eggs hatch and the hatchlings make their way to the water.



SEA TURTLE TRIVIA

Test your sea turtle knowledge!


Which of the four statements below is true?

Caretta Research Project

Looking to experience Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge in a conservation minded and interactive way? Check out one of our partner organizations, Caretta Research Project! CRP is an organization providing hands-on sea turtle conservation, research, and education for the purpose of conserving threatened sea turtle populations. CRP provides opportunities for volunteering during the nesting and hatching season between May & September.


Click the button below to learn more on CRP's website!