Tuesday, May 14, 2024

St. George Island was visited by another rare Leatherback Sea Turtle on Monday morning

St. George Island was visited by another rare Leatherback Sea Turtle on Monday morning.

Sea Turtle nesting season is in full swing now, which means sea turtles will be crawling onto local beaches at night to lay their nests in the dune line.

The vast majority of the nests are laid by loggerhead sea turtles, but very rarely we get a nest by the much larger Leatherbacks.

This year there have been at least 3 leatherback nests, two on St. George Island and one at Indian Pass.

Before now, it has been at least 7 years since the last Leatherback turtle dug her nest on the island.

Turtle watchers named the Turtle “Aurora” because it is almost as rare as the Aurora Borealis shining over Florida, which it did last Friday.

Sea Turtle nests look like piles of sand, and they are most easily recognized by the turtle crawl marks that are left when the female turtle pulls herself from the Gulf of Mexico to the dune line where most turtle nests are found.

If you should find an unmarked turtle nest this Summer, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC and they will make sure someone comes out to check and protect the nest.

You can also help by not using bright lights on the beaches at night – man made lights tend to disorient the turtles and keep them from nesting.

You can buy turtle safe flashlights for your nighttime walks – they are available at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research reserve on Island Drive in Eastpoint and at the state park on St. George Island.

You can also purchase them at the lighthouse gift shop on St. George Island.


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