Motor vehicles are making way for sea turtles on Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches, at least at night.
Starting Sunday, off-road vehicles are being banned from the beaches between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The ban will remain in effect until November 15.
Seashore Superintendent Mike Murray says the reason for the ban is to protect rare sea turtles that nest on the beach.
Loggerhead, leatherback and green turtles typically lay their eggs at night between May and September. Nesting turtles and their hatchlings are at risk from the kinds of disturbances that can be caused by people driving on the beach at night.
Between 10 percent and 15 percent of all sea turtle nests in North Carolina are laid on Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches.