With June 1 marking the fourth month of Sea Turtle nesting season, we are beginning to see more females come to shore at night to nest and lay their eggs. 90% of nesting females lay their eggs on Florida's beaches so it is vital that we keep our beaches clean, especially during these eight months. The three most common sea turtles found on Florida's beaches are:
During the first half of Sea Turtle Season, you will find females from these species spanned across Florida's shorelines, with South Florida being one of the most common places to spot a nest.
In the next coming weeks, some of the nests laid earlier in the season will begin to hatch. Each turtle nest varies with how long the eggs take to hatch based on their species. Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles eggs take about 45-55 days to hatch whereas Leatherback eggs take a lot longer to hatch. Their eggs take anywhere between 70-80 days, sometimes even longer.
This means that very soon, there will be hatchlings that need our helping making their way to the ocean! If you see a nesting female or nest that is hatching, please do not disturb the turtles or touch them - it is illegal to touch them since they are endangered! With your support, we can help hundreds of turtle this season!
Have you ever wanted to see Loggerhead, Leatherback, or Green sea turtles lay eggs during sea turtle nesting season? Our friends at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, FL make that possible with their annual Turtle Walks!
During these turtle walks, a professional and educated staff from Gumbo Limbo safely lead you to where you can view female sea turtles laying their eggs on the beaches of South Floirda firsthand. The walks take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from May 18 - July 13. The night begins with an educational program in Gumbo Limbo's classroom where you will learn about sea turtles, their habitats, behaviors, and more. Following the classroom portion is the ecology walk on the beach where more often than not you will be able to witness a female Loggerhead, Leatherback, or green turtle nesting in their natural habitat!
Tickets for the program are on sale beginning May 8, 2017 and sell out very quickly! Get yours HERE when they become available!
Recently, the first Kemp Ridley sea turtle nest of the 2017 nesting season was found in Texas on South Padre Island. The nest was discovered on March 31 and set a new record for the earliest Kemp Ridley sea turtle nest laid of any sea turtle nesting season to date! As an endangered species, it is vital for scientists to keep track of the number of nests laid every season to gain an understanding of the status of their populations. Since the BP oil spill in 2010, their numbers have been declining but scientists and researchers are hoping that their populations will rise.
The Kemp Ridley nest was found by a local sea turtle patrol who is in charge of looking for sea turtle nests to help protect them from other wildlife, as well as egg poachers, during sea turtle nesting season. Scientists believe that this record-breaking early nest could be the result of a warmer than usual winter. They are also hoping that because of the warmer waters this year, it will be a chance for more female turtles to feed and be more likely to lay eggs this season - which is what the species needs! The eggs from this particular nest were relocated to a hatchery lab where they will be cared for and released to better their chances of survival for the endangered species.
Every year during the spring the Loggerhead Marinelife Center dedicates a day to host TurtleFest, a whole day of awareness for sea turtles, ocean pollution, and marine conservation. This past Saturday, the Devocean team joined other like-minded individuals to partake in an event dedicated to sea turtles! Throughout the festival were various stations, vendors, and sponsors educating the public about the negative effects of ocean pollution, most specifically plastic pollution, and how it effects marine life and the food chain in the ocean.
The name itself, TurtleFest, suggests that the main point of the festival is to raise awareness for sea turtles throughout the world who are in danger and in need of our help. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center works with injured sea turtles and young hatchlings much like the FAU Research Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. Many of the turtles that are brought to the facility have been impacted in some way by marine debris and are a prime example of how our everyday trash becomes their everyday problem. We are also happy to say that TurtleFest was a "waste-free" event, meaning that little to no plastic was used during the event to prevent plastic from potentially making its way into the ocean where sea turtles fall victim to the debris. No plastic utensils or cups were handed out during the day and people who attended were encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags or purchase some at the festival.
Good news, Devotees! It's March 1 which marks the official start of sea turtle season! This means that in the next few months thousands of female sea turtles will make their way to the beaches from South Carolina to South Florida to lay their eggs. Then, a few months later, our beaches will be crawling with thousands of new born hatchlings!
Last year in the Boca Raton, Florida region alone there was a reported 729 Loggerhead nests, 37 Green sea turtle nests, and 17 Loggerhead nests. This year we are hoping there will be even more nests than in 2016!
The FAU Research Lab will soon be releasing the very last of the young sea turtles from last season that have grown up in the lab. These turtles are cared for by the FAU professors and lab technicians where they are constantly monitored and fed a special diet created in the lab. This enables them to grow up in a safe and healthy environment until they are big and old enough to make their way back to the ocean.
Once these turtles are released, the lab in the following months will begin to prepare for a set of new sea turtle hatchlings and the process will start over again. Each year, the lab will care for hundreds of hatchlings which requires time, effort, and funding which is where Devocean Co. comes in and helps out! Thanks to all of our Devotees, we are able to make great contributions to not only the FAU Marine Research Lab but Gumbo Limbo Nature Center as well where adult sea turtle are rehabilitated from sickness and injuries.