Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Endangered sea turtles are having a record nesting year on Florida shores

Posted By on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA SEAWORLD
  • Photo via SeaWorld
Vulnerable and endangered sea turtles are making a big comeback in Florida.

Florida sea turtle nesting is up 32 percent from 2013 on Canaveral National Seashores, reports the Daytona Beach News Journal. So far this year, 11,600 sea turtle nests were recorded by the Seashore's resource management specialists. In 2013, the last reported year, 7,933 nests were recorded.

According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, 90 percent of all sea turtle nesting in the United States occurs in Florida. So this recent boost in nesting activity is a positive indicator that things are going in the right direction.

Leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles, the three species tracked on the Canaveral Seashores, are all either vulnerable or endangered species, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The organization claims sea turtles have faced troubles with nesting and population growth over the years due to human activity.
click to enlarge PHOTO VIA SEAWORLD
  • Photo via SeaWorld
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, artificial light pollution near beaches creates problems for nesting sea turtles. Sea turtles follow the natural light bouncing from the sun off the water into the sea. However, newly hatched turtles confuse the artificial light from restaurants, hotels and other businesses near beaches for sunlight and end up on roads where they are often struck by cars instead.

Another major issue affecting sea turtle nesting is the construction of seawalls. Coastal property owners often build vertical structures out of materials such as wood, concrete and steel to prevent the land around their buildings from eroding. The Sea Turtle Conservancy states these seawalls reduce the amount of suitable nesting space for turtles. The turtles are then forces to build their nests closer to the water, where they are more likely to be washed away by waves.

For more information about sea turtle conservation efforts in Florida visit myfwc.com or conserveturtles.org

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