We are fortunate enough to see these endangered creatures quite often on our tours. There are 5 species of turtles that inhabit these waters, and they are all endangered. The state of Florida is the most important nesting area in the United States for them. Until recently the only species that we have seen nesting here is the Loggerhead, which is the turtle that is most commonly seen. Last year, Green Sea Turtles have made a comeback and the year before that, the biggest Sea turtles and the least common, the Leather back which weighs up to 2,000 lbs made a comeback with 2 nests in the area.
Nesting season runs from May 1st to October 31st.
What can I do to help turtles?
- Lights from development are a big threat, the hatchelings instinctively crawl towards the moon, to a turtle, bright lights on condos may look like the moon, causing them to crawl away from the sea. If you own or stay on a place on the beach, make sure that the lights are turtle friendly.
- Pick up your trash! One of the turtles favorite food is jellyfish, guess what a plastic bag in the water looks like to them…. Yep you guessed right! The best thing you could do for any of the wildlife in the area is to make sure you are picking up your trash, this goes for all wildlife, not just turtles. Ingesting pieces of plastic can be a certain death sentence to these guys.
- Leave no Trace. Take your beach chairs with you at the end of the day. Hatchelings will get trapped behind chairs and sandcastles and never make it to the ocean.