Protecting Nesting Sea Turtles in Volusia and Flagler Counties, Florida.
Nesting Season is Underway!
Updated: June 1, 2019
Turtle Nesting Season is underway and we are busy patrolling the beaches each morning looking for turtle crawls and marking turtle nesting sites. As the weather gets warmer and summer vacations begin, we have more beach-goers sharing the beach with our friends, the sea turtles. Please remember to do your part to keep the turtles safe… remove trash and obstacles (such as chairs) from the beach and fill in holes dug in the sand before you leave. This will provide mama turtles with a safe path as they come on shore to lay their eggs. With your help, we’ll have another successful nesting season! ~ The Volusia/Flagler Turtle Patrol
Looking for some sea turtle-related fun for kids and grown-ups alike this summer? Click here for sea turtle educational materials.
What do mama turtles do on shore?
A female turtle can spend two hours or more on shore laying her eggs. What does she do while she’s on land? First, she crawls to a point above the high-tide line so her eggs won’t be taken away with the tide. Then, she digs a “body pit” by rotating her body and using her flippers. She then cups her rear flippers to grab sand and dig out an egg chamber, or hole, in which she will lay her eggs. When her flippers can’t reach any deeper she’ll begin to lay her eggs. She will “drop” a few eggs at a time until she lays between 50 and 200 eggs (depending on the species of the turtle). Once she is finished laying her eggs, she uses her rear flippers to fill in the egg chamber with sand and her body to gently pack it down. She then camouflages her nest by using her flippers to throw sand in all directions around the nest to confuse predators about the location of the eggs. Finally, a tired mama turtle returns to the sea for some much-deserved rest.
If you come across a nesting sea turtle on our beaches, please keep your distance and do not disturb her. She may become spooked and return to the water before laying her eggs.
If you find a sick, injured or cold-stunned sea turtle, please do not place it back in the water. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) for assistance.