South Florida is one of the most important nesting areas for one of the world’s most beautiful and endangered species – the Sea Turtle. Their nests can be seen all summer long, marked by protective yellow tape courtesy of the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
Loggerheads, Greens and Leatherbacks will all nest on our sands in the dead of night. In March the Leatherbacks arrive, followed by Loggerheads in April then the Green Turtle in May and June. I walk the shore every day and I have yet to see a turtle nesting, which is exactly how it should be.
Around half of the early tracks are false crawls, where the turtle has decided conditions are not right for a nest. The team from the Turtle Program partol the shore at sunrise and will cover up the turtle tracks so that natural predators for the eggs (racoons, foxes etc) are not attracted by their scent and steal the eggs.
But I feel privileged enough just to see the tracks…
Tracks come out of the ocean.
The sea turtle heads up the sands.
A big loggerhead nest. Sand everywhere!.
Tracks left by the Protection Program ATV to cover scent.
Early morning, a new nest laid.
Sea Turtle Protection Squad heading up the beach.
Marking and protecting.
Early morning, and the Conservation team mark the nest and cover the tracks to the ocean.
Our sea turtle hero squad in action.
Off to another nest.
Discussing the morning’s work.
A favorite spot on the beach for green sea turtle nests.
Just waiting for the eggs to hatch.
Dimples on the sand. Could this mean…
Tracks of hatchlings look for the ocean.
The wandering little sea turtles navigate by moonlight.
See you next Spring!