According to Turtle Time successful hatches have been limited on Fort Myers Beach because of the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Elsa and the heavy rainfall of late which saturated the sand on the beach.
However, they’re looking forward to more successful hatches as nests deposited later in season and laid higher in the dunes are inventoried.
Bonita Beach fared really well and nests there are hatching successfully. The beach is left natural, not raked, which contributes to better resiliency and drainage of the beach during storm events.
Turtle Time also shared an exciting note: some volunteers were thrilled to see a loggerhead sea turtle still on the beach early Wednesday morning. It was a turtle that had been tagged on Sanibel and Turtle Time was able to record the tag number, thus providing excellent data on nest site fidelity!
Here are the official turtle numbers as of today:
FMB: 84 nests, 129 false crawls, and 5 nests hatched.
Bonita Beach: 177 nests, 166 false crawls and 39 nests hatched.
SCCF reported this week “Hatching season is steadily picking up as 169 nests on Sanibel and Captiva have hatched and 12,463 hatchlings have emerged. There are 626 nests still incubating on Sanibel and Captiva, and SCCF staff and volunteers are hopeful that thousands of hatchlings have yet to emerge on island beaches.”
Sanibel East: 131 Loggerhead/1 Green nest, 264 false crawls and 694 Hatchlings. Sanibel West: 585 Loggerhead, 17 Green 624 false crawls & 8837 Hatchlings. Captiva: 229 Loggerhead, 0 green nests, 244 false crawls and 3914 hatchlings.
Please continue to be vigilant with regard to turning off lights, using turtle friendly Amber lighting, closing the blinds/drapes, picking up toys and furniture from the beach and filling in holes so we can continue to see the numbers increase.