Friday, May 2, 2014

May 1st = Time for turtles

The turtle nesting season officially began yesterday and it is an exciting time for me. I have been a volunteer for SCCF (Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation) for the past 4 years and it is with great anticipation that I begin this new season.
There has been a lot of changes - rules and regulations - that the state wants us to document, we also have a new beach vehicle for the West end of the Island and a new gal Kelly Sloan from South Carolina who now is the sea turtle program coordinator.
There is also a website for keeping track of the nests being deposited on our island.
One of the biggest bonus is to be able to see the sun rise in all its glory.

Then as the sun gives more light - turtle tracks can be detected

Sometimes leading to a nest, other times it's just a false crawl.

Some mornings we walk with the moon light shining,

some days I need to get my work done ASAP before the storm unleashes.

Some of us get to be in the right place at the right time and witness the turtle while she lays her eggs....

then bid her farewell till the next time.

A couple of moons later, the nest will be close to hatching and so we watch for different foot prints....

such as these....a sure telltale that the hatchlings have gone to the Gulf.....

and so, we wish them well and hope that in a couple of decades we get to see them come back to our beaches to lay the next generation. 
Turtle Facts
Loggerheads are the most common sea turtles in Florida.
Adults grow to more than 3 feet long and weigh 200-350 pounds.
Female turtles nest on the same beaches where they were born.
A female loggerhead may nest one to seven times during a season at about 15-day intervals.
Hatchlings are about 2 inches long.
Hatchlings emerge at night and are guided by the lighter Gulf horizon to the water.
The Law
All beach furniture needs to be off the beach at night because adult turtles cannot go backwards so furniture can trap them.
Turn off external lights or use amber LED lights.
Those rules are in effect from 9pm to 7a.m - May 1 to Oct 31. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it is turtle season again. They are so tiny when they hatch. Can't wait to maybe see some. Hoping the airline prices go down a little...