The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 50 - September 26, 2012


Late nests may outlast turtle season

As turtle season enters its final month, the number of nests has dwindled to about 15, according to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteer Glenn Wiseman.

"We have two nests that might hatch on a holiday," Wiseman said. "One might hatch on Halloween and the other on Thanksgiving."

The nest scheduled for as late as Thanksgiving is a green turtle nest discovered Sept. 14 on the beach near Fern Street in Anna Maria. It is the second green turtle nest discovered on the Island this year. That is significant since there have only been five green turtle nests recorded since AMI Turtle Watch was formed.

"With these late nests, we need to remind people living on the beach to continue efforts to reduce lighting near the beach that might lead to disorientation," Wiseman said. "We have lost some hatchlings this year who saw lights on the mainland instead of the starlight over the Gulf, and they walked onto the roadway and were killed by cars."

Turtle season ends Oct. 31, but landowners near the late bloomer nests will have to continue to be vigilant until those nests hatch.

And when they do, we'll have it here in the Anna Maria Island Sun.

Nesting news

Nests laid: 362
False crawls: 329
Nests hatched: 154
Hatchlings to Gulf: 11,728
Nest disorientations: 21

*This record number includes all sea turtle nests laid since the start of the season on May 1 through Aug. 24. The previous record was 244 nests in 1999. In late June, Tropical Storm Debby destroyed an unknown number of nests that can’t be identified until their hatch dates have passed. Since Debby, 181 nests have been laid.

Source: Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper