This area sees mostly loggerhead turtles, named for their large heads. After the sun sets, the female loggerhead turtle will come up onto the beach. Once she finds a spot she likes, she'll dig her nest and lay about 110 eggs, each about the size of a golf ball. When she's finished, she'll camouflage the nest by flinging sand over it and then return to the ocean.
Last year, Turtle Watch found 37 nests, of which 36 hatched. That may sound like a lot of baby turtles, but only one of 1,000 hatchlings will survive until breeding age. Turtle Watch knows the odds, which is why its members stay vigilant.
The eggs take about 60 days to hatch, at which point the hatchlings will go toward the brightest light, which should be the moon and the stars reflecting off the water. Other lights can disorient the hatchlings, which is why it's so important for homes and businesses along the coast to adhere to light restrictions during the season. That means no spotlights, headlights or other bright lights close to the sand.
Turtle Watch distributes flyers each year to the businesses, hotels and condominiums in
the area so people know what the guidelines are and how to reach Turtle Watch if they see a turtle or hatchlings.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE A TURTLE LAYING EGGS OR FIND A NEST OR HATCHLINGS:
1. Call the 24-hour hotline:
1 (888) 404-3922
2. Don't touch the turtle or the hatchlings.
3. Do not use lights of any kind - no flash photography or flashlights, period.
2014 SEA TURTLE NEST STATS:
Nest Count - 37
Hatched Nests - 36
Hatchlings - 3,115
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