Did you know there are 7 different types of sea turtles in the world?
Six of the seven species can be found in the United States. The Australian flatback is the only species not found in the U.S. It can be found in the northern coastal area of Australia and the Gulf of Papua, New Guinea.
Most Popular Sanibel Sea Turtle
The Loggerhead sea turtle is the one you’ll see most often around Sanibel Island. In fact, it’s the most commonly seen sea turtle in most of the United States. Australia, Omen, and the southeastern United States, South Florida in particular, are the major nesting sites for Loggerheads.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands have seen increased numbers of Loggerhead nests in the past few years. In fact, 2020 holds the record with 926 total Loggerhead nests recorded on the islands!
Green Turtles on Sanibel Island
Aside from Loggerhead nests, there are a number of Green turtle nests laid on our beaches as well. The SCCF Sea Turtle Program data shows that Green turtle nests are higher during odd year numbers due to their biennial reproductive cycle. In 2021, SCCF recorded a total of 27 Green nests on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The record number of 34 Green nests was recorded in 2017.
What About Leatherback’s?
In 2020, the islands recorded the most leatherback nests on Sanibel (4) and Captiva (2). This was certainly a treat for our islands to record the first successful leatherback nest on Captiva with 56 hatchlings. One is pictured below!
Sea Turtle Volunteering
Over 100 volunteers help with the daily search for sea turtle tracks during nesting season (April – October). You can become a sea turtle nest monitor too! Visit SCCF’s website for more information on its volunteer program or to adopt a nest.