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Nesting sea turtles need more help | Environment

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Nesting sea turtles need more help
Environment, News, Pets
Nesting sea turtles need more help

Sarasota, Florida - Nesting sea turtles have been keeping Mote's Sea Turtle Patrol busy. So far the biologists and volunteers that make up the patrol have documented 1,365 loggerhead nests and nine of the more rare green sea turtle nests on 35 miles of local beaches.

Researchers say this year's totals are strong and could possibly surpass record numbers. The official nesting season ends October 31st.

While numbers look good, Mote scientists are concerned about the number of adult females becoming disoriented on the beach. So far they've counted 23 turtles who have lost their bearings and that compares to just 12 to 15 in previous years.

Disorientation occurs whenfemales veer away from their expected movement patterns, because they're distracted by artificial lighting from waterfront properties, beachgoers coming to close (especially if they have flashlights), and natural predators like raccoons. Hatchlings can also become confused.

Both adults and hatchlings can wind up crawling long distances in the wrong directions, using a lot of much-needed energy, while trying to find the water.

The public can help by keeping beaches dark and giving nesting turtles plenty of space.

Environment, News, Pets