Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting the seven species of sea turtles during #SeaTurtleWeek. A different species will be highlighted each day. For more information on other Sea Turtle Week activities offered by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society, please go to our website or visit us on Facebook and Instagram.
Sea turtles are nesting on Brevard County beaches, and currently the majority of these turtles are loggerhead sea turtles. Florida is the most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world and hosts more than 40 percent of nests laid globally, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Let’s take a look at the 2019 statewide totals reported by FWC. Statewide 2019 nesting numbers:
- 106,650 loggerhead nests
- 53,105 green nests
- 1,105 leatherback nests
- 11 confirmed (and 6 pending) Kemp’s Ridley nests
- No Hawksbill nests
During the state Marine Turtle Permit Holders meeting held in January 2020 in Panama City Beach, FL, FWC staff also presented research on loggerhead nesting trends.
The conclusions of this work:
- Florida is the most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world (hosting more than 40 percent of the nests laid globally).
- Annual loggerhead nest counts fluctuate widely in the most abundant management units and appears to be increasing in the smaller management units.
- Even though nest count has been increasing in recent years, there is NO clear evidence of a female population change.
- Strong population recovery has not occurred.
Residents and visitors can help to make our area as turtle friendly as possible by remembering to keep beaches clean, flat and dark from May 1 through Oct. 31. County ordinances prohibit visible lights of any type, including cellphones, at night during this time. It’s also important to remove beach chairs and other obstacles each night as well as to knock down sandcastles and fill in any holes that may block or trap sea turtles. Please do not disturb or touch nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings on the beach.