LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Marine scientists are keeping a close watch on a loggerhead turtle nest in west Long Beach.
Researchers from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies took measurements and cordoned off the area with tape and warning signs on Tuesday. The nest was found after IMMS received a report of a loggerhead turtle trying to cross Hwy. 90 in the area.
The adult turtle typically buries her eggs in the sand, and leaves the rest to Mother Nature.
"We'll keep track and whether or not hatchlings come out, which we hope we do, we'll come back and try and figure out what happened and how many of them make it out, how many don't," said Eric Pullis, an IMMS Marine Conservation Ecologist.
Temperature will determine whether the hatchlings are male or female. Adult loggerhead turtles can weigh around 150 pounds and are around 3 feet in length.
Loggerhead nests are fairly rare along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, although several have been spotted in recent years.