We Love Our Sea TurtlesIts 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 return 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 the special fences that warn us of these very vulnerable nesting zones.
Happy World Sea Turtle Day 2020 – June 16th
Officially turtle season in Broward County starts March 1st and runs through October 31st. The Leatherbacks are the first turtles to arrive in March, followed by our most common species the Loggerhead Turtle. Loggerheads start making their way to our beaches during the month of April. Then 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 sea turtle nesting season continues through the end of the September with peak season for Loggerheads being late June into early July.
2019 Florida Sea Turtle Nesting Survey Highlights:
- In 2019 loggerhead turtles had a successful nesting season with more than 53,000 nests documented on Florida’s beaches bringing loggerhead nest counts to levels more commonly observed in the 1990s.
- Surveyors counted 336 leatherback nests on the 27 core index beaches in 2019. Leatherback nest counts remain low compared to the numbers of nests documented during the 2008-2015 period.
- Green turtle nest counts have increased eighty-fold since standardized nest counts began in 1989. In 2019, green turtle nest counts on the 27 core index beaches reached a new record high with almost 41,000 nests recorded.
- 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. http://www.savetheseaturtle.org
Learn more about sea turtles at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_turtle
Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management: http://www.broward.org/NaturalResources/BeachAndMarine/SeaTurtles/Pages/default.aspx