Sea Turtle Nesting Report
Posted on Jun 11th, 2011
The turtle nesting season on Manasota Key is off to a great start. The number of nests established on Manasota Key in May is the highest since 2000. This may be due to warmer than usual weather, but in any case, it is welcome news. As of June 3rd, there were 495 nests and 617 false crawls reported on Manasota Key. This compares to 167 nests and 182 false crawls at the same time in 2010.
To give you some idea of the role of Manasota Key in the picture, consider that Gasparilla and Little Gasparilla Islands have a combined total of 95 nests as of the same date. Since 90% of the Loggerheads in the United States next in Florida, the importance of Manasota Key in the process is obvious.
Incubation takes about two months and during that time the nests are subject to predation and storms. When the hatchlings make their dash to the sea they are eaten by gulls, raccoons, fish and other predators. It is estimated that on 1 in 1,000 reaches maturity in 20 to 35 years. We need to make sure that we increase those odds.
- Nests are not to be disturbed in any way
- The beach should be kept clear of chairs, kayaks, or any other obstacle
- Lights on the beach MUST be turned off or shielded to help turtles return to the Gulf.
For a great deal of detailed and interesting information, please go to www.coastalwildlifeclub.org