One down, one to go
CINDY LANE | SUN
Sea turtle nesting is up locally and statewide.
Halloween was the official end of turtle season on Anna Maria Island, but one special straggler nest is still incubating.
An endangered green turtle nest is due on Nov. 9, at the earliest, according to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, whose statistics show that only four greens have nested on the Island in the last 30 years.
Most of the Island’s nests are loggerheads, a threatened species – one step away from endangered.
The last loggerhead nest of the season hatched on Monday Oct. 29, producing 45 hatchlings.
Turtle Watch counted 362 nests and 12,645 hatchlings this year on the Island, a banner year.
Loggerheads also had a strong season statewide, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
This year, 58,172 loggerhead nests were counted in Florida, one of the highest counts since monitoring began in 1989. Nesting peaked at 59,918 nests in 1998, with a low of 28,074 in 2007.
In the U.S., 90 percent of all loggerhead nesting occurs in Florida, mostly on the east coast.
Loggerhead nesting in Florida has been rising for the past five years, according to the FWC, as has green and leatherback nesting.
If you see a sick or injured sea turtle, call the FWC at 888-404-FWCC (3922).