Turtle Season – What you should know!

Sea Turtle Season 2013

Sea Turtle Season is still in effect, now through October 31st!

It is turtle nesting season. Please shield your lights so that they are not visible from anywhere on the beach. Better yet, replace existing bulbs with Amber LED bulbs which give you 10,000 hours of turtle-friendly light! Find certified dealers who carry Amber LED’s: click here.

baby sea turtlePlease remember, your lights can mean life or death to endangered sea turtles!

NEST DATA –  UPDATED AUGUST 19TH, 2013

  • Total nests this season: 150
  • Total nests hatched this season: 58
  • Total lost nests this season: 0
  • Total false crawls this season: 246

Loggerhead Turtle Facts

  • Loggerheads are air-breathing reptiles, scientific name Caretta caretta.
  • The common name refers to the turtle’s large head.
  • Loggerheads are the most common sea turtles in Florida.
  • Their food consists of mollusks, crabs and animals that encrust reefs and rocks.
  • They have been on Earth for millions of years with little serious threat to the species – until recently.
  • Weighing 250 – 400 pounds, adults can grow to more than three feet in length.
  • Hatchlings are two inches long.
  • Nesting occurs from May through August. Hatching may extend through October.
  • The nest cavity is 18 – 22 inches in-depth.
  • Incubation period of the eggs in their sandy nest is 55 – 65 days.

Sea Turtle Season Guidelines

Sea Turtle Guidelines

  • Shut off or shield lights that are visible from the beach. Close drapes or blinds after dark. Use 25 watt yellow-bug lights where exterior lighting is necessary. Avoid using flashlights or fishing lanterns on the beach. Fires are not permitted. Lee County has a Sea Turtle Conservation Code which is enforced. For information regarding lighting, or to report a lighting violation, please call Lee County Division of Environmental Sciences (239) 533-8353.
  • Remove beach litter. Balloons, plastic bags, foam and other non-degradable pollutants cause the deaths of many sea turtles who mistake them for food.
  • Quietly observe a nesting turtle from a distance. Do not shine any lights on or around her — she may abandon her effort to nest. No flash photography. Stay behind the turtle so that she cannot see you.
  • Do not harass turtles by touching her or prodding her to move. Stay out-of-the-way as she crawls back to the water.
  • Remove beach furniture at dusk.
  • Keep pets on a leash, away from sea turtles and their nests.
  • Leave sea turtle nest identification markers in place on the beach.
  • Leave nest sites undisturbed.
  • If you find a hatchling wandering in daylight, place it on moist sand in a dry container, shade it and call Turtle Time, Inc. immediately: 239-481-5566.

To report dead or injured sea turtles, or, if you have accidentally hooked a sea turtle that is small enough to rescue, contact: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1-888-404-FWCC, or call Turtle Time, Inc. 239-481-5566 immediately.

Turtle Time

Special Thanks to Turtle Time, Inc. for the information and videos shared in this blog post. 

Turtle Time, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the continued survival of loggerhead sea turtles.

Established in 1989, the group is the Florida state-permitted monitoring organization for sea turtle activity from Fort Myers Beach to the Lee-Collier County line. Daily patrols during the nesting season are conducted to gather important scientific data about population estimates, distribution of nests, nesting patterns and hatching success rates. Dead or injured sea turtles are examined and dealt with as necessary. The information is transmitted to a national sea turtle stranding network. Click here to visit their website.

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