Armored Invasion Arrives on Gulfcoast Beaches
In the darkness of night, a quiet invasion of armored intruders stealthily creeps up on gulf coast beaches from the watery depths. No it’s not a military operation or a sci-fi movie. It’s time for our annual sea turtle nesting season which runs from May 1 through October 31. The loggerhead, leather-back and green sea turtles are found on Florida beaches with the loggerhead being the most prevalent.
Only one in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. Predators, including humans, are a constant threat to hatchlings. When hatchlings dig their way out of the nests, they race for the sea guided by the natural moonlight. Artificial lights can disorient the hatchlings and cause them to lose their bearings. In the Venice area, you may notice that street lights close to the beach are blacked out on the beach side to protect the hatchlings.
Sea turtles lay approximately 100 eggs which incubate in the sand for approximately 60 days. Sea turtles are protected by federal laws. If you witness anyone disturbing a turtle or find an injured or disoriented hatchling or adult, please notify agents with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).