June is peak nesting season for sea turtles, so this is an exciting month for the SCCF Sea Turtle Program as it monitors nests and addresses a few on-the-ground projects.
Our Captiva team came across this beautiful loggerhead (Caretta caretta) as she was laying her eggs at sunrise today.
SCCF Sea Turtle Program staff are relocating nests on Captiva in preparation for the upcoming beach renourishment project by the CEPD (Captiva Erosion Prevention District). All existing nests within the project area will have hatched prior to mobilization at the end of July.
Photo above by Sea Turtle Technician Megan Reed
SCCF is operating under a permit issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to do this work, and “the team’s highest priority is limiting the impacts of moving the eggs by minimizing the number of nests that need to be moved and the distance they are transported,” said Sea Turtle Program Coordinator Kelly Sloan.
Although sea turtle nesting activity is rarely reported on the Sanibel Causeway Islands, SCCF has been contracted to monitor Island B daily to document and relocate nests before construction begins on that island on August 1.
Additionally, SCCF is launching a new research project to study the impacts of sand quality on nest temperature, moisture, and how the water moves through the sand surrounding the nest. “The results of this multiyear project will help SCCF identify the incubation conditions that support high hatching success,” Sloan explained.