Respect Nature: How to Carefully Observe Sea Turtle Hatchlings on Florida Beaches
Sea turtle hatchlings are beginning to make their way onto Florida beaches for the start of nesting season. But experts are warning beachgoers to be careful as they enjoy the sights of these endangered species.
Turtle hatchlings were seen on the beaches in Volusia County last weekend, and that's likely to be just the start. Nesting begins earlier in the south and works its way north throughout the summer months.
Tom Ryan from Volusia County Beach Safety said it's important for beachgoers not to interfere with nature when they come across a sea turtle nest or hatchlings making their way towards the ocean. "We're asking people while they appreciate it, they need to stay at least five feet away, don't touch them or try to help them," he said.
Gillian Campbell, a Loggerhead Marinelife Center conservation coordinator, warned that bright lights can interfere with turtles coming ashore and disorient them from finding their way back into the water. People should also pick up trash and fill holes dug in sand that can act as obstacles for turtle nests.
For those who come across a nest or hatchling stuck in an unnatural obstacle, Campbell suggests calling FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) so staff can appropriately help out the endangered creature.
Campbell explained that this is crucial because wildlife not only benefits humans but also helps maintain balance within a healthy ecosystem. The most important role individuals can play is being a good neighbor to wildlife by simply respecting their habitat and avoiding any interference with animals found near shorelines during nesting season and beyond.
Leave a Reply.