AVON, N.C. — Sea turtle nests are showing up early on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Seashore officials say in a news release that a loggerhead sea turtle nest was found Tuesday, marking the earliest a nest has been found on the seashore since at least 2002. The nest is located at the north end of the village of Avon.

Loggerheads are the most common sea turtle that nests on the Outer Banks.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reports the early nest follows last year’s record nest number of 325, surpassing 2015’s record of 289 nests. That’s according to an online tally kept by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Sea turtle nesting at Cape Hatteras National Seashore has reached new highs in five of the past seven years.

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