Another Record Year for Sea Turtles in Florida

Another Record Year for Sea Turtles in Florida

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Leatherback turtle nesting reached a new record this year in Florida while the number of loggerhead sea turtle nests remained high, according to Fish and Wildlife Research Institute scientists.

“Sea turtles face many important threats at sea and on land, which need to be addressed for the recovery of these charismatic and endangered species, but the results of the 2014 nesting season in Florida are encouraging and provide a positive outlook for the future”, said Dr. Simona Ceriani, FWC research scientist.

The monitoring program for turtle nesting in Florida is an outstanding collaboration involving more than 2,000 individuals with diverse backgrounds who share a common passion for sea turtles. The extensive data collection from more than 800 miles of beach is made possible with the help of FWC-trained and authorized surveyors from conservation organizations; universities; federal, state and local governments; and hundreds of private citizens.

Green turtle nesting trends show an exponential increase over the last 26 years, although counts in 2014 were much lower than last year. This was expected because green turtle nesting patterns tend to follow a two-year cycle with wide year-to-year fluctuations. Green turtle nest counts set two consecutive high records in 2011 and 2013.

The trend in leatherback nesting also shows an exponential increase over the last 26 years.

For more information about trends in sea turtle nest counts, visit MyFWC.com/Research, click on “Wildlife,” then click on “Nesting” under the “Sea Turtle” heading. To purchase a sea turtle license plate to help fund FWC’s efforts, visit BuyaPlate.com.

Photo credit: Fish and Wildlife Research Institute – CC 

 

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