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Sea Turtle Nesting Season Is Here! By Jenny Diamond

As summer hits its peak and the beach hosts crowds of tourists and locals alike, it’s also a busy time for the incredible wildlife on Pensacola Beach and the surrounding coasts. Shorebirds like terns and plovers make their nests and hatch their chicks in the dunes, and sea turtles lay their eggs closer to the shore. Sea turtle nesting season runs from May to October. Female sea turtles drag themselves from the sea and use their strong back flippers to dig a hole and lay roughly 100 eggs per nest; female turtles usually come ashore to lay their eggs at night and return to the water by dawn, though some species like the Kemp’s ridley have been known to come

ashore during the day. Different volunteer groups and county and government organizations monitor different areas of the coast, and so far this season, there have been 100 nests recorded: 21 nests laid on Pensacola Beach, seven nests in the Escambia County portions of Perdido Key, seven nests in Navarre and 65 nests laid within the collective beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Most of these nests were laid by loggerhead turtles, though of this 100, there have been five green sea turtle nests and two Kemp’s ridley nests. These numbers are likely to increase throughout the season. At the time this article was written, no nests have hatched yet. Pensacola Magazine


Profile for Ballinger Publishing

Pensacola Magazine, August 2019  

Pensacola Magazine, August 2019