Three nests and two nesting turtle encounters!

What an exciting week for our volunteers!  Our nest count increased from 4 to 7 this week with all 3 nests being laid within an 8 hour period.  One evening this week, volunteers were called to a nesting loggerhead arriving in time to see her finish nesting and return to the water.  As they were marking nest 5, they received a report of another nesting loggerhead nearby.  They arrived in time to see her cover her nest and return to the water; they marked nest 6 for protection. A couple hours later, nest 7 was found during morning survey and marked for protection by the volunteers as well!  What an exciting couple of hours for this group of volunteers! These activities is what they prepared for and their quick response helped ensure the nesting turtles were not disturbed and that all nests are safely marked on our beach.

The two loggerheads observed by our volunteers had no identification tags.  Under our permit issued by FWC, one of our surveyors installed passive identification tags so that any other organization encountering the turtle can report their whereabouts. Maybe they will return to our beach or a nearby beach in a few weeks as they can lay a nest every couple of weeks of the season.  We hope to see them both again!

We are one month into our nesting season (we survey for new nests May through mid-September).  We have 7 nests marked for protection, all laid by loggerheads.  Per the FWC permit we operate under, we don’t announce the nest locations or predicted hatch dates. So stay tuned in a couple months to our Facebook page and we’ll announce excavations when we have a nest that has hatched.

What should you do if you encounter a sea turtle at night on the beach? Avoid using any lights, keep your distance, stay out of her line of sight and call local non-emergency local police at 850-233-5000 so they can contact our volunteers. Sea turtles can be very sensitive to light and sound. The nesting female had to work hard to crawl onto the beach to nest considering she was designed for the water, so let’s do our part to not disturb her!  

All activities conducted in accordance to MTP-24-038.

Loggerhead returning to the water after nesting
Loggerhead returning to the water after nesting