Can sea turtles climb?

Why yes they can! Weather events like rough surf can cause a slope or escarpment at the water’s edge on our beaches. Over the years, sand dunes form at the dune line often growing sea oats in our area. This week, morning surveyors found examples of sea turtles showing off their climbing skills.

We had a green sea turtle choose a dune as a perfect place for her nest. She climbed the dune and nested within the sea oats. This is common behavior for green sea turtles, the 2nd largest sea turtle species.

We also had a large loggerhead scale an escarpment that was challenging for volunteers to climb easily. Unfortunately after that effort, she false crawled and returned to the water, basically sliding down that escarpment on her final approach to the water.

So yes, sea turtles can climb. But they can not go in reverse. So remember to leave our beaches clean, dark and flat so the only climbing they have to do is up the escarpment or dune!

Please call the non-emergency PCB Police at 850-233-5000 if you are lucky enough to see a nesting sea turtle so they can contact our on-call volunteers to respond.

Green sea turtle track with nest in the dunes

Loggerhead sea turtle scaled the escarpment and then false crawled and returned to the water