There are fewer sea turtle nests on Pinellas County beaches, this article reports, discouraging marine researchers who patrol the beaches for nests. As one researcher said in the article, the number of nests can fluctuate from year to year, but lately it seems year after year, the number of nests isn’t what it should be.
Just check out this page for sea turtle nesting stats by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission). From 1989 to 2005, it appears there’s a steep drop in the number of nests statewide.
So what’s the big deal with sea turtle nests anyway? Florida is the prime place where loggerhead sea turtles nest (other than the small Middle Eastern country of Oman). Turtles are an important part of the marine environment, the article states.
Have you seen a sea turtle nest this summer?
Photo from NOAA