Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan reports that we’ve now had nine hatches of nests on Sanibel and Captiva to date.
SCCF volunteer Joan Rogers is pictured here conducting the first loggerhead (Caretta caretta) nest inventory of the season on Captiva last week. Only 27 hatchlings emerged successfully from the first hatch.
“Today, we had a nest with 105 hatchlings that emerged,” added Sloan.
Sea turtle nests have an incubation period of about two months. The average clutch size is 110 eggs, but there is a lot of variability from nest to nest.
Sadly, only an estimated one in 1,000 to 10,000 will survive to adulthood.
The natural obstacles faced by young and adult sea turtles are staggering, but it is the increasing threats caused by humans that are driving them to extinction. Today, all sea turtles found in U.S. waters are federally listed as endangered, except for the loggerhead which is listed as threatened.
Nests typically start hatching in July and the hatching season continues into September or October.
Nest counts surpassed 2019 counts last week.
Current total nest count on Sanibel and Captiva combined is 595, with 181 loggerhead nests and two leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) nests on Captiva; 100 loggerhead nests, three green (Chelonia mydas) nests and one leatherback nest on the East End of Sanibel, and 305 loggerhead nests and three leatherback nests on the West End of Sanibel.
Click here to keep up with our nesting season on a daily basis!
To report any issues with nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings, please call SCCF’s Sea Turtle Hotline: 978-728-3663.