TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida added to its record-breaking sea turtle nesting season in September, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported Friday.
The 2023 season smashed records set in 2016 and 2017, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute wrote in a Facebook post.
Wildlife officials said that although the nesting season is winding down, residents and beachgoers should keep lights off the beach at night and close their blinds. Hatchlings will still need to find their way to the water through the month of November.
Here are the preliminary totals for the 2023 sea turtle nesting season, as of Sept. 30:
- 133,941 loggerhead nests (previous annual record was 122,707 in 2016)
- 76,543 green turtle nests (previous annual record was 53,102 in 2017)
- 1,711 leatherback nests
- 10 confirmed Kemp’s ridley nests
Wildlife officials expect to see a few more green sea turtle nests this month.
“Each year, our Sea Turtle Nesting Team helps lead an incredible effort to monitor sea turtle nesting throughout the state, collecting valuable data on species that routinely nest on Florida’s beaches,” FWC wrote in a Facebook post. “Thanks to all the FWRI partners involved in an outstanding community science effort to document sea turtle nesting activity statewide!”
Floridians are urged to report sick, injured, dead or entangled sea turtles to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline (888) 404-3922.