Sea turtles are also returning to Southwest Florida’s beaches for nesting season. So you might want to prepare yourself to share the sand. It’s that time of year when people hit popular spots like Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Sanibel Island Beach in Lee County, or Vanderbilt Beach in Naples, to enjoy our Florida beaches. However, you should know that it’s not just humans who are drawn to these shores right now. According to NBC2, Emily Longstreet, a student who’s been studying these fascinating creatures, says turtle nests are starting to pop up along the coast.
However, this year’s nesting season might not be as straightforward as usual. Hurricane Ian has caused the sand to become hard and compact, which could pose problems for the nesting turtles. Emily says that it’s not yet clear how much of an impact the storm will have on the turtles’ nesting habits. Nonetheless, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges they face.
Sea Turtle Time:
One of the biggest threats that sea turtles face during their nesting season is predation. Emily explains that predation happens when an animal or a dog comes onto the beach and ruins the nest. She notes that they’ve already seen a few signs of predation this year, but thankfully there hasn’t been any digging so far. The coyotes that are sometimes seen in the area seem to be content just to look at the nests, rather than destroying them.
If you’re planning to head to the beach, it’s important to do your part to ensure that the turtles are safe. After dark, you should avoid crowding the beaches, as sea turtles can hatch sometime between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. It’s also crucial to leave the beach dark, clean, and flat, to make it as easy as possible for the hatchlings to make their way to the sea.
So be carful of the baby turtles! With a bit of care and attention, we can all help to make sure that the turtles have the best possible chance of survival. So, grab your sunscreen and your sense of adventure, and head to the beach to witness this miraculous event!