Monday, May 14, 2007

More on the Sea Turtle Nests


Because the Daytona Beach area is north of where I am, their sea turtle nesting season begins a couple of months later than it does down here. The reason for that is that the ocean water begins to warm down here earlier than it does up to the north of here. Nesting sea turtles prefer warm ocean water. As a result, there were very few nests on the beach up there during the extraordinary high tides last week. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that many of the nests down here where I am were wiped out or made non-viable by the high tides we experienced from the sub-tropical low that later became Andrea. At the time the high tides arrived here, there were approximately 125 leatherback sea turtle nests on our beaches. Forty percent of them are now gone.

The leatherback sea turtles nest here as do the loggerhead and the green sea turtles. The leatherbacks arrive and nest first then along comes the loggerheads, and later the green sea turtles arrive.

The picture you see above is of a female loggerhead sea turtle. I took it last year after she came on the beach, dug her nest, laid her eggs and covered the nest. In the picture she is returning to the ocean after her long “laborious” chore.

14 Comments:

Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

I wish I could have taken some pictures of the sea turtles I saw in my many years offshore in the gulf. They were amazing to watch. When they go to remove a platform out there, they have people come out and do a turtle watch. If a turtle is found out there, all work is put on hold till it can be captured and moved to a safe location while the work is done.

The funniest thing I ever saw, was the day they were to do the final removal on one and a turtle popped up right before they were to set off the explosives! It shut the whole job down. Hilarious!

May 14, 2007 2:04 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Look at her face! If you look long enough, you'll see all of history, every struggle and every tiny achievement written there. Sea turtles have a special place in mythology and I can understand why.

May 14, 2007 3:19 AM  
Blogger Sue Woo said...

They are amazing. I participated in Turtle Rescue here for years and got to watch them hatch. Unbelievable.

May 14, 2007 3:51 AM  
Blogger niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Two years, on a trip to Hawaii, we found a beach near an old AFB (Bellows) where sea turtles were hatching making there way to the sea.

It is amazing that they come up out of the sand and immediately find their way to the sea. We just stayed and watched them pop up for hours.

Too bad we didn't have a way to record it, I think if people had known about this, there would have been a crowd, luckily there was only a few people around and they didn't even stay that long.

May 14, 2007 5:56 AM  
Blogger Blueberry said...

I am really sorry to hear about the loss of the turtles. I guess the Florida fires are creating all manner of death and destruction that shouldn't be happening either. I think we are in for another freaky weather summer.

May 14, 2007 6:01 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

We humans think we have it tough becoming a mother! These turtles have people and weather to contend with just to deliver their young! I've never seen it in person, but have seen shows on it quite interesting!

May 14, 2007 6:14 AM  
Blogger DivaJood said...

What an amazing creature. And the timing of the storm (and other storms, and changing weather patterns) has had a negative effect on the breeding cycles of many animals; it is effecting crop cycles. We stand at the turning point.

May 14, 2007 7:01 AM  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

She's beautiful. Here's hoping the survival rate is much higher up north.

May 14, 2007 7:13 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Those ancient rhthyms of nature become so beautifully obvious when watching a sea turtle in spring. We humans are such goofy creatures, because we have forgotten how the earth works. It's why we will screw it up until it becomes unlivable.

May 14, 2007 7:15 AM  
Blogger beachblogger said...

dear POP,

thanks for the picture. one of the saddest things i remember is a turtle in a tank at sea world swimming back and forth, back and forth, from one wall to the other, always the exact same path. i've never gone back to sea world.

peace, peter

May 14, 2007 9:02 AM  
Blogger Aaron A. said...

Great picture.
Sad state of affairs.

May 14, 2007 9:52 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

I'm kind of partial to warm water myself.

May 14, 2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

That's a shame. Better luck next year.

May 16, 2007 2:34 AM  
Blogger isabelita said...

We saw a nature show which had a bit on sea turtles. Evidently some of the old things can reach a weight of over 1300 pounds. They were so beautiful.
I adore them, and spiders, too.

May 16, 2007 12:59 PM  

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