FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD)- The 2022 sea turtle nesting season on Folly Beach wrapped up last week with one group calling it a “happy end.”
The last nest on Folly Beach was laid on July 30 and the hatchlings finally emerged on Sept. 26, according to the non-profit surveying group Folly Beach Turtle Watch.
The nest had a total of 96 eggs–80 hatched and 16 unhatched–with a hatch success rate of 82.4 percent. The rate is about on par with the rest of the season’s nests, the group noted.
For the 2022 season, a total of 10,996 eggs were laid between 99 nests. Of those nearly 11,000 eggs, 8,896 hatched for a hatch success rate of 80.9%. Although nearly 8,900 eggs hatched, about 430 hatchlings did not emerge bringing the emergence success rate down to 77%.
The number of nests on Folly Beach is higher than in previous years indicating some success in recent conservation efforts, but still not reaching the record high of 148 set in 2019.
The statewide nesting season still has a few weeks to go, but preliminary data from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources indicates that 8,001 nests have been laid along state beaches thus far in 2022.
Statewide the hatch success rate is 66.6% and the emergence success rate is slightly lower at 63.9%. This season, the average size of a nest clutch was 114.3 eggs with an incubation period of 54.2 days.
The 2022 sea turtle nesting season officially wraps up at the end of October.