Today SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program confirmed that Sanibel’s East End has broken the record for nest numbers since we began recording. We officially have 122 loggerhead nests on the East End!
2015 was the previous record holder with 120 nests. Prior to that, the average for nests on the East End was 38 per year! We are having an excellent season!
Here’s how you can ensure all those nests, hatchlings, and momma’s stay safe:
- Respect all staked nests.
- Turn off all lights — Nesting females and hatchlings primarily emerge after dark so remember to turn off all lights. Sea turtles use the brightest horizon to navigate towards the water. Any artificial lighting will cause confusion and steer turtles in the wrong direction. This includes beachfront lighting, flash lights, flash photography, and even iPhones.
- Remove all beach furniture and toys — Clear everything off the beach from 9 pm – 7 am. Obstacles on the beach can cause nesting females and hatchlings to become entangled.
- Fill in all holes on the beach — if you dug a hole on the beach please fill it in. Nesting females and hatchlings can fall into holes, causing them to be venerable to predators.
- Never approach a nesting sea turtle — if approached the sea turtle will likely abandon her nesting attempt.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Facts
- Loggerheads are one of seven species of sea turtles in the world
- Nesting/Hatching season occurs from April 15 through October 31
- Adult loggerheads can grow to more than 3-feet long and weigh 200 to 350 lbs
- A female loggerhead may nest around 3-6 times per season
- Each nest contains 100 or more leathery ping-pong ball sized eggs
- Incubation takes about 55 to 65 days depending on sand temperatures
- It may take 30 years or more for loggerhead hatchlings to reach maturity