On their sunrise beach patrols, the SCCF Sea Turtle team has documented six nests, with the first one on April 27 on the East End of Sanibel.
On May 2, the team documented the first loggerhead nest of the 2021 season on Captiva. A total of four nests are now on Sanibel and two on Captiva, while a total of 10 false crawls have been reported on both islands.
Nighttime surveys, which began May 1, present an excellent opportunity to identify individual females.
These encounters can lead to important insights into the behavior of the turtles that nest in our area.
For example, SCCF first encountered a loggerhead in 2017 that was named “Oatmeal Cookie.” SCCF observed this turtle three times in 2017 and twice in 2020, and she has grown two centimeters since our first encounter with her. Oatmeal Cookie was spotted on April 25 by Florida State University staff 28 miles off the coast of Don Pedro Island.
“Understanding the locations of foraging grounds and migratory corridors of our nesting turtles helps shed light on where these turtles go after they nest and allows us to better conserve these vulnerable animals,” Sloan said.
The SCCF sea turtle team would like to remind you to do your part to help protect sea turtles. Remember to turn out lights, remove beach furniture, fill in holes, pick up litter, and use flashlights with red filters when on the beach after dark. If you are lucky enough to encounter a nesting turtle, please keep calm and give her plenty of space.
To report any other issues with sea turtles, contact Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.