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Sea Turtles

What does this mean?

Five species of sea turtles inhabit both the Gulf & East Coast regions of Florida: loggerhead, green, hawksbill, leatherback, and Kemp's Ridley. Loggerhead turtles, which are classified as threatened, are the predominant species on our beaches. Excluding the Big Bend area of Florida, all Florida beaches support nesting activities from April through September.

You can help to protect Sea Turtles!

Never approach sea turtles coming ashore or disturb nesting sea turtles or hatchlings. Biologists estimate that only about one out of every 2,500 hatchings survives to the age of sexual maturity.

Beachfront property owners should turn off exterior lights in areas where nesting takes place. Bright artificial lights discourage nesting sea turtles from coming ashore and disorient hatchlings, preventing them from reaching the sea.


How are the data collected? (Methods)

See Sea Turtle Monitoring (the SNBS and INBS Programs) on the Fish & Wildlife Research Institute website.


Calculations

Sea turtle nest locations were analyzed using a geographic information system (GIS) in order to calculate the total number of nests on each beach.


Caveats and Limitations

There are limitations to the use of the SNBS database imposed by the data collection methodology employed. These limitations are discussed in full in the aforementioned publication. General caveats include the following information:

  • Changes in survey boundaries
  • Not all sea turtle nesting beaches in Florida are monitored
  • Variability of survey effort
  • Loggerhead turtles are the principal focus of these monitoring programs, therefore other species are underrepresented
  • Determination of nesting success is difficult

Population monitoring is the goal of a complementary FDEP program, the Index Nesting Beach Survey Program.


Additional Information


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