Nesting season has arrived in Florida! Every year, sea turtles and water birds migrate to the coasts of the Sunshine State to lay their eggs.
These animals, who spend most of their lives in the ocean, recognize the sandy beaches of North and Central Florida as suitable habitats for nesting. The turtles will dig a hole in the sand and deposit dozens, or even hundreds, of eggs over multiple nests. The birds will form simple nests of seaweed or sticks near shallow waters.
The FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) designs and implements programs to help protect these species during their nesting period. The commission works with coastal communities on regulations that limit lights from illuminating beaches at night, so newborn hatchlings won’t become disoriented and wander away from the sea after emerging from their eggs. They also monitor for damaged or destroyed nests due to human activity or natural predators.
During nesting season, it is important that beach-goers remain mindful of wildlife creatures when enjoying the sand and surf. People should keep a respectful distance when observing nesting birds or turtles [and should not engage in activities such as feeding them]. Remember that these animals are engaging in an age-old tradition: one that is essential to the preservation of their species’ future population!