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Isaias washes out 150 sea turtle nests in Florida


Researchers in Florida say Isaias didn’t just put homes at risk. It also damaged homes for the sea turtle population.

“We estimate we lost between 10 and 20 percent of the nests that were incubating in the sand,” said Leanne Welch, a manager at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

Welch said the center did not expect to lose as many nests as they did.

“It was early in the season, normally the storms that impact us are late august and September and by then 80% of our nests have hatched and are off the beach.”

She estimates around 150 nests washed out with the storm.

“Many them may still be safety incubating in the sand, the hatching are under two feet of sand,” Welch said.

However, more than 450 nests still remain with more turtles laying eggs every day. It’s the time of year when the seaweed returns and many washback turtles get trapped in it.

“If you find what we call washback turtles, those are turtles about this big, that have been washed back to shore by the waves you can call the emergency hotline.”

The center says it sees more washback turtles after a storm.

If you see an injured turte, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

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