The first sea turtle nest of the 2019 season was found April 27 on the east end of Sanibel.
The first sea turtle nest of the 2019 season was found April 27 on the east end of Sanibel.

The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation has reported a significant increase in sea turtle nests from the previous year. Every year in late spring, loggerhead sea turtles arrive on Sanibel and Captiva for the nesting season which is from April to October. A total of 149 loggerhead nests have been counted on both islands.

Peak nesting for loggerheads typically occurs in mid to late June, so we're expecting to see the numbers continue to grow,” SCCF stated.

The SCCF Sea Turtle Program surveys 18 miles of beach, from the Sanibel lighthouse to Blind Pass. More than 100 volunteers help with the daily search for tracks that the sea turtle left behind when she emerged from the sea the night before.

Sometimes sea turtles go back to the water without laying eggs, which is known as a non-nesting emergence. If it is determined that the turtle successfully laid eggs, the nest is watched over until the eggs hatch and there are signs of the hatchlings crawling to the Gulf. Storms, humans and predators may disturb or destroy the nests, reducing their survival. After the nests hatch they are evaluated to determine the number of hatchlings that successfully emerged.

In addition to nest protection activities, program staff also educate the public about the threats that sea turtles face, respond to live and dead sea turtles that wash up on the beach, participate in collaborative research projects, and help monitor beach construction projects. The Sea Turtle Program operates under a permit granted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Nest Count in 2018 and 2019

5/27

Loggerhead Nests

Green Nests

2018

2019

2018

2019

East End

19

24

0

0

West End

59

89

0

2

Captiva

22

36

0

0

Total

100

149

0

2

False Crawl Count in 2018 and 2019

Loggerhead False Crawls

Green False Crawls

2018

2019

2018

2019

East End

24

27

0

0

West End

77

146

0

5

Captiva

18

41

0

0

Total

119

214

0

0