Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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

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

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.
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate change can evoke intense feelings, but a conversational approach can help. Reed Kaestner / Getty Images

Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.


Read More Show Less

Trending

A rare North Atlantic right whale is seen off Cape Cod Bay on April 14, 2019 near Provincetown, Massachusetts. Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sprinklers irrigate a field of onions near a Castilian village in Spain. According to a new study, the average farm size in the EU has almost doubled since the 1960s. miguelangelortega / Moment / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A new report released Tuesday details the "shocking" state of global land equality, saying the problem is worse than thought, rising, and "cannot be ignored."

Read More Show Less
Members of the San Carlos Apache Nation protest to protect parts of Oak Flat from a copper mining company on July 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

In yet another attack on the environment before leaving office, the Trump administration is seeking to transfer ownership of San Carlos Apache holy ground in Oak Flat, Arizona, to a copper mining company.

Read More Show Less