It’s Turtle Time!

May 1st marked an exiting time on Sanibel and Captiva – the official start to sea turtle nesting season. From early May until the end of October, volunteers comb the beaches for evidence of new turtle nesting sites.

Sea turtles are among the world’s oldest creatures and a mature sea turtle can live up to 50 years. Sanibel and Captiva provide a perfect nesting habitat and in 2017, 684 nests were laid on Sanibel and 189 nests were laid on Captiva. Last year was the fourth year in a row to break nesting records and hopes are high that 2018 will again see an increase in the number of nests over last year.

Primarily it is the loggerhead and green turtle species that nest on Sanibel and Captiva. This year, however, it was the rarer Kemp’s Ridley turtle that created the first nest on Sanibel. The Kemp’s Ridley is one of the smallest of the sea turtles and is also among the most endangered. As of May 4th, seven nests have been located on the islands, six Loggerhead and the Kemp’s Ridley.

Sea turtle nesting sites are now a familiar site on area beaches. The nests are marked off with yellow tape and have a protective wire mesh barrier on top to keep the eggs safe from predators. Visitors and resident alike can contribute to the success of the sea turtle nesting program. The most important thing is keeping the beach dark so the hatchings are attracted to the light reflected off the water and swim in the direction of the sea. Artificial light disorients the hatchings and those that crawl in the wrong direction won’t survive.

Everyone is asked to close curtains or blinds after dark and make sure to leave the beach turtle-friendly – no beach equipment or large holes that could stand in the way of the turtles making it to the Gulf. And please, no flash photography or cell phone lights on the beach after dark. In 1992, SCCF began recording nesting statistics and hundreds of volunteers every year monitor the beach for nests or evidence of hatchlings making their way to the water. Remember, the darker the beach, the brighter their future.


The Sandalfoot Team

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Located on the east end of Sanibel Island, just one mile from the historic Sanibel Lighthouse, our vacation rental condo community is nestled beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico.  Sandalfoot Beachfront Condominium has been consistently ranked #1 and #2 in our category by TripAdvisor, also receiving their  Certificate of Excellence three years in a row. Sandalfoot Beachfront Condominium. So much more than a room with a view!

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Logo and ‘Sandalfoot’ are Service Marks of:
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