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One sea turtle nest left as season came to a close

By SCCF - | Nov 4, 2020

KARL WERNER Green sea turtle hatchling

With sea turtle nesting season having officially ended on Oct. 31, all of the nests on Captiva had hatched and there was only one nest left on Sanibel as of Oct. 28, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported.

The remaining nest was laid by a green turtle, which is not all that surprising since they tend to nest later in the summer than some other species.

“This nest was discovered on a morning survey in August and was one of the final few nests laid this season,” SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan said.

Nesting season for green turtles typically runs from about June through September, whereas loggerheads nest from April through August. Green turtle nesting in Florida seems to follow a biennial pattern, where females migrate from their foraging grounds to mate and lay eggs usually every other year. They have had solid nest counts on the islands in recent years.

“The 2019 season was a big one for green turtles, with 32 nests laid on our islands — 30 on Sanibel and two on Captiva,” Sloan said. “Since 2019 was an elevated year for green nests and they typically nest every other year, a lower nesting year was expected in 2020. This season, only five green nests on Sanibel were documented.”

SCCF Line graph showing the record-breaking number of loggerhead nests that were laid on Sanibel and Captiva this summer compared to previous years.

As of last week, four of the nests had hatched, producing 201 green hatchlings.

“We look forward to the outcome of the last green nest this season and are hopeful for another big nesting season next year,” Sloan said.