Today marks the official start of the 2023 Turtle Nesting Season! We are pleased to let you know that mama turtles have already begun nesting on our beaches. Our volunteers will be patrolling each morning looking for turtle crawls (tracks left in the sand by mama turtles) from the night before. They'll locate nests and cordon them off with wooden stakes and ribbons to keep them safe. As you visit the beach, especially during early morning and evening hours, be on the lookout (but keep your distance). You never know what you'll encounter during nesting season!
Tips for Sharing the Beach
Leave the beach the way you found it. Mama turtles can get trapped/injured in lawn chairs or stuck in holes dug on the beach. When leaving, remove obstacles that get in their way by taking everything with you when you leave, filling in holes, and knocking down sandcastles.
Pick up your trash. Mama turtles may think your plastic bag is a yummy jellyfish an eat it, making her sick. Look around before you leave and place your trash (and trash left behind by others) in the trash/recycling bins.
Lights out. Lighting along A1A, beach bonfires, and flashlights can confuse mama turtles, discouraging them from coming ashore to lay their eggs. If they are already on shore, they may become disoriented or be frightened away.
Do not disturb nesting females. If you see a turtle coming ashore to nest, do not approach! Give her space and don't make loud noises or quick movements. If she gets scared and returns to the ocean, she may dump her eggs in the sea and the hatchlings will perish.
Call for assistance. Turtles have been coming to shore to lay eggs for thousands of years without needing any help from us. However, if you see bystanders crowding or harassing a nesting turtle, please call the FWC for assistance at 1-888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922).
May 1, 2022
2022 Turtle Nesting Season
04-13-2022 Leatherback Turtle Crawl & Nest
Today marks the first day of the 2022 Turtle Nesting Season!The season runs from May 1 through October 31. Mama turtles are beginning to come to shore to lay their eggs on our beaches. During nesting season our volunteers patrol the beach each morning to look for turtle crawls (tracks left in the sand by mama turtles as they make their way onto the beach to lay their eggs). Volunteers are trained to locate turtle crawls, determine if a nest was laid, collect detailed information about the crawl/nest (which will be reported to the FWC), and clearly mark the nest so that its location is known for further evaluation and so that it remains protected and undisturbed by beachgoers.
We are excited to report that we have already had6 Sea Turtles come to shore to lay eggs this year (3 Leatherbacks and 1 Loggerhead in Volusia and 2 Leatherbacks in Flagler)! Leatherbacks are the first to lay eggs each season. They are the largest of all the sea turtles and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. A single track (as seen in the photo above taken by one of our volunteers) is enormous compared to the tracks of other species of sea turtles and can easily span 5 feet in width. To learn more about the Leatherback and all of the species of sea turtles found on Florida's beaches, click here.