The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 52 - October 10, 2012


View hatchlings at Mote

If you haven’t yet seen a sea turtle nest hatch on Anna Maria Island, all is not lost.

Only a handful of nests are expected to hatch before the end of the season on Oct. 31, but hatchlings are on display at Mote Marine Aquarium on City Island, just south of Longboat Key.

A new viewing window at the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center allows you to watch as scientists weigh, measure, examine, treat and feed sea turtle hatchlings.

Hatchlings that need further care are admitted to Mote’s hatchling hospital and can be seen in a newly-refurbished habitat until they’re ready to return to the wild. More than a dozen hatchlings are on display.

Each year, Mote receives about 1,000 hatchlings, some from nest excavations, which can be released, and others that are found in swimming pools or injured when a raccoon, coyote or other animal dug up their nest, according to exhibit coordinator Holly West.

Mote also treats juvenile and adult sea turtles at its Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, does behavioral research on resident adult sea turtles and satellite tracks released sea turtles.

The exhibit was funded by a donation from the Kukanza family, of Sarasota.

Only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings makes it to adulthood.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring reminds beachgoers to keep lights out and remove all objects from the beach at night to make a clear path for hatchlings.

Nesting news

Nests laid: 362*
False crawls: 329
Nests hatched: 169
Hatchlings to Gulf: 12,454
Nest disorientations: 22

*This record number beats the previous record of 244 nests in 1999 and the 15-year average of 155. In late June, 2012, Tropical Storm Debby destroyed an unknown number of nests; since Debby, 183 nests have been laid.

Source: Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper