Quantcast

Sea Turtles Have Record-Breaking Nesting Season on 35-Mile Stretch of Florida's Gulf Coast

Popular

It's only the half-way point of sea turtle nesting season in Florida, and some beaches are already breaking records.


Mote's Sea Turtle Patrol, a group of volunteers and scientists that monitor nests on Florida beaches between May 1 and Oct. 31, report this year has already seen 2,638 nests, some of which are beginning to hatch. This year's number has surpassed the previous record—the total number of nests for 2015—by 163 nests, according to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

"We are excited to announce that we have broken the 35-year annual record for sea turtle nests along our area's beaches with a total of 2,638 confirmed nests so far and we are only halfway through the nesting season," Kristen Mazzarella, senior biologist with Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, said.

Longboat Key had 716 nests on June 30 and Casey Key had 1,184 nests on July 2, both breaking previous records of 698 and 1,174, respectively.

The first nest hatched June 26 on Venice beach.

Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program coordinates conservation of endangered sea turtles along a 35-mile expanse of Sarasota County beaches. Data collected by the volunteer team provides important information to resource managers who use it to understand and protect sea turtle populations.

Sea turtles face multiple threats to their population, including coastal development, poaching of eggs and marine pollution. Just last week, a Florida man was caught stealing 107 eggs from a loggerhead turtle while she was laying them.

Mote's offers some tips in case you come in contact with a turtle nest or nesting area:

Do:

  • If you encounter a nesting turtle or hatchlings, remain quiet and observe from a distance.
  • Shield or turn off outdoor lights that are visible on the beach from May through October.
  • Close drapes after dark and stack beach furniture at the dune line or, ideally, remove it from the beach.
  • Fill in holes that may entrap hatchlings on their way to the water.

Do Not:

  • Approach nesting turtles or hatchlings, make noise or shine lights at turtles.
  • Use flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach.
  • Encourage a turtle to move while nesting or pick up hatchlings that have emerged and are heading for the water.
  • Use fireworks on the beach.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An Exxon station in Florida remains open despite losing its roof during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Florida Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Withers

The country's largest fossil fuel company goes on trial today to face charges that it lied to investors about the safety of its assets in the face of the climate crisis and potential legislation to fight it, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
El Niño's effect on Antarctica is seen in a tabular iceberg off of Thwaites ice shelf. Jeremy Harbeck / NASA

El Niños are getting stronger due to climate change, according to a new study in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Julia Ries

  • Antibiotic resistance has doubled in the last 20 years.
  • Additionally a new study found one patient developed resistance to a last resort antibiotic in a matter of weeks.
  • Health experts say antibiotic prescriptions should only be given when absolutely necessary in order to avoid growing resistance.

Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threats.

Read More Show Less
Pexels


There are hundreds of millions of acres of public land in the U.S., but not everyone has had the chance to hike in a national forest or picnic in a state park.

Read More Show Less
Workers attend to a rooftop solar panel project on May 14, 2017 in Wuhan, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

By Simon Evans

Renewable sources of electricity are set for rapid growth over the next five years, which could see them match the output of the world's coal-fired power stations for the first time ever.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Firefighters work during a wildfire threatening nearby hillside homes in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood on Oct. 21 in Los Angeles. The fire scorched at least 30 acres and prompted mandatory evacuations. Mario Tama / Getty Images

A wildfire that broke out Monday near Los Angeles' wealthy Pacific Palisades area threatened around 200 homes and injured two people, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Justin Trudeau gives a speech following a victory in his Quebec riding of Papineau on Oct. 22. CBC News / YouTube screenshot

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will remain in office after a federal election Monday in which the climate crisis played a larger role than ever before.

Read More Show Less
Mike Mozart / Flicker / CC BY 2.0

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder on Friday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found trace amounts of asbestos in one of its bottles.

Read More Show Less