SCCF: Turtle nest loss minimal from tropical storm
On Sept. 17, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Sea Turtle Team reported that a total of 17 nests were lost to Tropical Storm Sally. Ten nests on Sanibel and seven on Captiva were washed away.
SCCF biologist Jack Brzoza used a GPS device to locate nests where the stakes were completely washed away to determine if the eggs were still incubating under the sand.
“With our record-breaking number of nests this year, these 17 nests lost only make up a small percentage of the total nests and will not significantly impact our overall productivity,” he said.
As of Sept. 16, the islands beaches hosted 51 incubating nests combined. Prior to the storm, over 50 nests still contained viable eggs on Sanibel and there were about 25 nests incubating on Captiva.
The nest loss from Sally is less than the loss of 29 nests in early June from Tropical Storm Cristobal. Sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates for such natural events.
“We are thrilled that 32,862 hatchlings have already reached the sea from 569 hatched nests this season,” Brzoza said.
The season is all but over, with the last nests due to hatch in October.