24K Sea Turtle Hatchlings and a Loyal Loggerhead
As of today, the SCCF sea turtle team has documented 765 loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and 17 green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests.
“While we’ve seen a steady decline in nesting loggerheads, green sea turtles will likely continue to nest through September, and we are hopeful we’ll document a few more on our beaches,” said Kelly Sloan, coastal wildlife director and sea turtle program coordinator, adding that two green sea turtle nests were recorded just last week.
In total, 432 sea turtle nests have already been inventoried in 2022, and 24,164 hatchlings have emerged on our beaches.
This week, SCCF staff is highlighting one of our frequently observed turtles, named “Fighting Conch.” She was first tagged in 2016, and staff observed her again in 2018, 2020, and 2022. Since her first sighting, she’s laid seven nests and had three false crawls (coming ashore without laying eggs).
This year, two of Fighting Conch’s nests have hatched, producing 73 hatchlings. Although SCCF staff only sighted her twice this season, it’s likely she laid more nests, said SCCF Sea Turtle Biologist Jack Brzoza.
“Loggerhead sea turtles lay an average of four nests per season, which helps increase the probability that some offspring survive even if one or more nests are negatively impacted by a storm or predation,” Brzoza explained.