Even with Tropical Storm Elsa passing through last week, the turtle numbers continue to grow on Fort Myers Beach. Turtle Time reports 75 nests, but still no hatches. Here are the numbers from across the Causeway…
Sanibel East reported 115 Loggerhead nests, 1 green nest, 249 false crawls and 341 Hatchlings. Sanibel West had 495 loggerhead nests, 14 green nests, 570 false crawls and a whopping 2,512 Hatchlings.
On Captiva there are 197 loggerhead nests, 216 false crawls and 2,067 hatchlings.
Bonita Beach checked in with 161 nests and 10 hatches.
While it is sad that nests and hatchlings are lost in a storm, no storm season is a total loss for sea turtles. Sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates for such natural events. Each turtle lays multiple nests throughout the nesting season so there’s a high probability that some nests survive. That strategy has worked for millions of years.
What is more tragic, however, is hatchlings unable to find their way to the Gulf because someone had not bothered to close their drapes or use turtle friendly lighting. Finding dead hatchlings on Estero Boulevard is a preventable travesty! Please…. If you are staying on the beach, take a moment to close your drapes, use turtle-friendly amber LED lights where lighting is necessary for safety, don’t shine flashlights out on the beach at night…and fill in any holes before leaving the beach.