Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Letting Nature Do Its Thing

Sea Turtle Weekly Update

Photos by Maria Lamb | It’s Mary Nelson, Marco’s Sea Turtle Lady, spotted at Sand Dollar Island checking out the sea turtle nests and the black skimmer colony.

When There Are Heavy Rains or High Tides Washing Over the Sea Turtle Nests, Will They Still Hatch? 

According to sea turtle experts, maybe but not always. Tropical rains can result in nests being “washed over” or “washed out” meaning either the tide briefly sweeps over the nest for a few hours, or that the nest sits with water on top of it for a day. A turtle nest has a pocket of air at the top of the egg clutch and the eggs are porous. The nest “breathes and a wash over can interfere with the air circulation drowning the nest. Sea turtle eggs absorb water and hatchlings can drown before they emerge. 

How About Relocating the Nest That Is Close to The Waterline to Higher Ground? 

Sea Turtle experts say that it was the sea turtle’s choice to nest where it did and due to sea turtle research, it is better to let them be and let nature do its thing. 

During these powerful storms, Lake Madeira has created runoffs and gullies bisecting JW’s beachfront propertyguessing that side is slightly lower. The sand around the lake is noticeably darker than the rest of the beach indicating that algae is starting to grow. 

Photos by Maria Lamb | Sea Turtles could get stuck under the trailer—beach chairs should be stored behind the frontal dune to prevent sea turtle nesting obstruction.

What Exactly Does A Sea Turtle Monitor Do on The Beach During Sea Turtle Season?  

They are under the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) permit. Usually in a team of two, both Yesi Olvera and Kath patrol the beach every day during sea turtle season (April – October). They ride their ATVs the length of Marco’s beach looking for turtle tracks that will lead to a nest made the night before. When they spot a nest, they mark it with wooden stakes and yellow tape and measure its location to protect it from public traffic such as beach raker, permitted vehicles, beach vendors and visitors to the beach. They also check existing nests and look for signs of false crawls and hatchling disorientations. They make sure that nests are not disturbed by humans. 


Sea Turtle Activity Update June 2 – 8, 2020 

Chart by Maura Kraus 

  Total Nests  Total False Crawls  Total Hatched Nests 
  This Year  Last Year  This Year  Last Year  This Year  Last Year  Disoriented 
Barefoot   86  121  115  101  0  0  0 
Delnor Wiggins  15  22  30  15  0  0  0 
Vanderbilt    90  79  69  62  0  0  0 
Parkshore   65  91  93  74  0  0  0 
City of Naples   99  92  64  81  0  0  0 
Keewaydin Island  160  200  286  301  0  0  0 
Sea Oat & Coconut Island  4  9  2  3  0  0  0 
Marco Island  42  40  68  79  0  0  0 
Kice & Cape Romano  51  45  76  32  0  0  0 
10,000 Islands  40  42  78  59  0  0  0 
Collier County Totals  652  741  881  807  0  0  0 



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