Our nesting season is in full swing having reached 30 nests and 20 false crawls.
We currently have three Green Sea Turtle nests on our beach and the rest are loggerhead. As a reminder, nesting (and hatching) typically occurs overnight so be sure to keep your lights off, don’t use flash photography if you encounter a sea turtle and give her space. Crawling on land when you are designed for water can be tiring, so we don’t want to stress or disturb a nesting turtle!
What happens when we find a nest? We follow FWC guidelines and our volunteers mark the area off with stakes and survey/caution tape. A green tag with the nest number (numbered serially as they are found) is added and it stays protected for the next two months while the eggs incubate until it hatches, usually at night. Our volunteers follow FWC guidelines and check the nests (using red lights as they are less disruptive) at night when it has been about two months. If they find hatching activity, they don’t use any lights and make sure the turtles make it to the water that night.
We don’t announce nest locations or predicted hatch dates. What we will announce are any public excavations we will hold. Those are typically late afternoon, announced 1-2 days in advance following a hatch. At an excavation we assess the nest productivity and explain what our program is doing to help protect sea turtles.
Please call the non-emergency PCB Police at 850-233-5000 if you are lucky enough to see a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings on the beach so they can contact our on-call volunteers to respond.