Keep an Eye Out For Sea Turtle Nests on the Beach
If you’ve been to the beach in South Florida recently then perhaps you have noticed a turtle nest or two. Its that time of year when we need to keep an eye out for the sea turtles that share our beaches. Several species of sea turtles come to our beaches in South Florida every year to nest and if you’ve spent any time here during the summer you have certainly seen areas on the beach fenced off to warn us of these very vulnerable nesting zones.
Officially turtle season in Broward County starts March 1st and runs through October 31st. The Leatherbacks are the first to arrive in March, followed by our most common species the Loggerhead Turtle which makes its way to South Florida sometime in April. The Green Sea Turtles start arriving in May and June. Ridley and Hawksbill turtles have also been known to visit our beaches in much smaller numbers. The nesting season continues through the end of the September with peak season for Loggerheads being late June into early July.
2017 Florida Sea Turtle Nesting Survey Highlights:
- In 2017 loggerhead nest counts were slightly lower than their peak of 65,807 nests in 2016, but nest numbers have varied greatly since the beginning of the survey program in 1989.
- Surveyors counted only 205 leatherback nests on core index beaches in 2017, the lowest since 2006.
- Green turtle nest counts have increased 80 fold since 1989 reaching an all time high of 39,000 nests in 2017.
- View more survey results here: http://myfwc.com/research/wildlife/sea-turtles/nesting/beach-survey-totals/
FACT: Loggerhead Sea Turtles are the most common to nest in South Florida with almost 66,000 nests counted during their peak in the 2016 season.
FUN FAMILY TIP: If you want to learn more about sea turtle nesting season you need to visit the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. Located in the heart of Florida’s sea turtle nesting zone, Gumbo Limbo monitors more than 600 nests a year and releases over 6,000 stranded hatchlings each season.
Other Links and Resources:
Adopt a sea turtle and learn more about local conservation efforts at the National Save the Turtle Foundation in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Learn more about sea turtles at Wikipedia:
Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management: