Rabu, 26 Agustus 2020

Record number of sea turtle nests documented on Sanibel, Captiva - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

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File image of a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

This year appears to be a record-breaking season for sea turtles in the southwest region of Florida.

Over in Sanibel and Captiva, wildlife experts announced a higher number of loggerhead sea turtle nests compared to previous years.

According to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, as of Tuesday, there are 659 nests on Sanibel, which breaks the previous record number of 649 set in 2017. On Captiva, there are 265 loggerhead nests, which is much higher than the previous record of 194 in 2016.

“This season's nest counts are very encouraging and are a testament to over 60 years of conservation work on Sanibel and Captiva, as well as the entire state of Florida and the surrounding waters,” said SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan in a statement. “However, it’s important to keep in mind that monitoring population trends based on nest counts is very complicated.”

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Despite the record nesting season, the organization says there are unanswered questions in regards to the long-term effects of the 2018 red tide bloom, and how it could impact the health of the surviving turtles. 

Tagging data shows that 17 of the turtles the foundation encountered this year nested during the 2018 red tide. There are 19 turtles that nested in 2016, and they could be on a three-year remigration cycle. 

“We may yet even see more turtles from 2018 nesting in 2021,” said Jack Brzoza, a biologist. “We are cautiously optimistic that the record nesting will continue into the future and we’re excited to see what awaits our islands in 2021.”

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In Florida, all five of its sea turtle species are either endangered or threatened, meaning it's illegal to harm, harass or kill any sea turtles, their eggs or their hatchlings. 

The Endangered Species Act lists the green, leatherback, hawksbill and Kemp’s ridley turtle as endangered. The loggerhead turtle is listed as a threatened species. 

Learn more about sea turtle nesting on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website.
 

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August 26, 2020 at 05:38PM
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Record number of sea turtle nests documented on Sanibel, Captiva - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

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