We eagerly await the final sea turtle nesting counts at the end of each nesting season. And this year, SCCF reported 850 total nests along the 18-miles of beach surveyed by their Sea Turtle Program.
“We were just 24 nests short of our record for Loggerheads on Sanibel and only one nest away from our record for Loggerhead nests on Captiva,” said Kelly Sloan, SCCF Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, which makes this the second-highest number of nests on record for both Loggerhead and green sea turtles.
A record-breaking number of new hatchlings was recorded this year with 48,886 hatchlings on both islands. The previous record was 41,498 hatchlings, which was recorded in 2017. That’s a lot of baby sea turtles squirming in the sand!
Record-Breaking Hours Volunteered
The number of hatchlings wasn’t the only record-breaking statistic this year. Volunteers within the SCCF Sea Turtle Program logged their highest number of hours in 2019, with 100 volunteers putting in 5,426 hours this season! Talk about dedication!
“Staff interacted with 1,126 beach-goers, handing out red light filters for flashlights and educating them on sea turtle-friendly beach practices,” Sloan added.
Sea Turtle Research Continued
SCCF conducted five research projects during the course of the 2019 season including a sea turtle tagging project; two brevetoxin accumulation studies to investigate the impacts of red tide on sea turtle strandings and in nesting females; a green sea turtle satellite telemetry project and a groundwater impact study.
The results of the studies will be shared on the SCCF Sea Turtle Program page on their website which you can access by clicking here.