TAMPA (WFLA) – The sea turtle population is rising up on Tampa Bay beaches in more ways than one.
The Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota has announced its Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program (STCRP) has already recorded a 38-year-record number of nests in the Sarasota area. STCRP monitors sea turtle nesting on the 35-mile stretch of beaches from Longboat Key through Venice.
As of August 4, Mote’s STCRP has documented a total of 5,063 nests across all sea turtle species – 4,888 loggerhead nests, 170 green turtle nests, and five other nests. As female sea turtles nest every two to three years, many of them are expected to be returners from 2016, the previous total nest record, which had a total count of 4,588 nests.
For the first time in the program’s history, there are at least two green sea turtle nests on every key/region in Mote’s area of monitoring.
The increase in green sea turtle nesting this year has also presented researchers the opportunity to learn more about this threatened species through satellite tagging.