Sea turtles are slowly, but surely, taking over Juno Beach this nesting season.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center recently announced that it has documented a record-breaking 11,710 loggerhead nests along the 9.5-mile stretch of beach it monitors. Before this year, the highest count was in 2012, when LMC documented 11,525 nests in the area.
The best part? There are still a few months left to go in nesting season, which runs from March through October.
“We’re happy to see the amount of nests, as it gives us hope that the species will thrive in South Florida despite continued environmental threats,” LMC’s data manager, Sarah Hirsch, said.
These record numbers are much celebrated after the slow, but steady, increase since LMC’s lowest loggerhead nest count ever in 2007, when only 4,492 nests were documented.
Hirsch says record-breaking nesting seasons don’t say much about the overall state of our coastal ecosystem, but they do, at least, suggest that the ecosystem inhabited by adult turtles is thriving. She credits larger conservation efforts with fisheries and beaches, as well as laws that help protect sea turtle nests, for the success.
Although biologists aren’t exactly sure why nest counts differentiate from year to year, they continue to monitor the loggerhead nests long-term in hopes of collecting more research.
(Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center)