If Your Keeping Score At Home…

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202

Here are the latest turtle counts from around Southwest Florida. Turtle Time reports that Fort Myers Beach has 61 nests, 99 false crawls and no hatches yet. What about Sanibel, Captiva and Bonita?

Numbers across the causeway continue to rise as well. Sanibel East: 96 Loggerhead/1 green nest, 223 false crawls and 131 Hatchlings. Sanibel West: 359 Loggerhead/11 green nests, 454 false crawls & a whopping 531 Hatchlings. On Captiva: 143 Loggerhead, 0 green turtle nests, 178 false crawls and 458 hatchlings.

On Bonita Beach they have 128 nests, 123 false crawls and no hatches yet.

Our friends at Turtle Time shared the following turtle tidbit…
Although loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) are the most common sea turtle to nest along Florida beaches, in the last few years we’ve seen an increase in green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests along the West coast.

It’s such a thrill for turtlers to discover that a different species has visited us! Of the 199 nests that Turtle Time monitors on several beaches, two of them are green nests. In 2019, we were lucky to have a green nest on Fort Myers Beach. Greens nest later than loggerheads so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that ‘our’ green will return to Fort Myers Beach…we still have time.

A green’s track and nest is unmistakable! Unlike the alternate flipper gait of the loggerhead, greens use a swimmer’s breast-stroke gait, using their front flippers to maneuver themselves forward. Also unlike the loggerheads, greens create an enormous body pit before even attempting to dig an egg chamber. When done nesting, she will camouflage her nest to the point that the site resembles an explosion site.