Turtle Talk Archive

Olive Ridley Arribada

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Watch this amazing sight as an arribada of Olive ridleys comes ashore to nest in the daytime in La Escobilla Sanctuary on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

Bonita Beach’s First Documented Green Sea turtle Nest Hatched!

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

“Having lots of greens this year is an indicator of the future,” Haverfield said.

The first documented green turtle nest hatched Sunday on Bonita Beach.

“We broke the record from zero to one,” said Eve Haverfield, president and founder of Turtle Time. “We love all our nests, but this one was just a little more special.”

Green turtles are breaking records all over the state. On Sanibel and Captiva islands, the previous record of eight green turtles was smashed this year when 22 nests were laid.

“We have more greens than we have ever recorded,” said Amanda Bryant who monitors turtles for the Sanibel/Captiva Conservation Foundation. “It’s more by a lot.”

Jet-Ski Ban Upheld

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Malinda Carlson represented Turtle Time, Inc at a Lee County Commissioners meeting on June 25, 2013. A local marina wanted to offer “eco-tours” on jet skis through the quiet back bays where many young Kemp’s ridley turtles live. The ban on jet skis stayed intact with a unanimous vote… NO JET SKIS!

Sea turtle nests start to pop up on Bonita beaches

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Written by story by Andrea Stetson special to Coastal Life
June 6, 2013
Link to original article: http://www.news-press.com/article/20130607/COASTAL_LIFE/306070007/Sea-turtle-nests-start-pop-up-Bonita-beaches?nclick_check=1

Sea turtle nests start to pop up on Bonita beaches

Rayma C. Page Elementary School kids decorate stakes to mark them

Luis Gomez and Alan Magistrat, kindergarten students at Rayma C. Page Elementary School, decorate sticks that are being used to mark nests on Bonita Beach and Fort Myers Beach. / Andrea Stetson/Special to Coastal Life

Luis Gomez and Alan Magistrat, kindergarten students at Rayma C. Page Elementary School, decorate sticks that are being used to mark nests on Bonita Beach and Fort Myers Beach. / Andrea Stetson/Special to Coastal Life

Weeks after Collier County and Captiva and Sanibel Island got their first turtle nest, Bonita Springs is finally seeing some action. The first nest was laid May 14 near access No. 3 and for the first time these local nests are being marked with sticks decorated by local elementary schoolchildren. Children in all eight kindergarten classes at Rayma C. Page Elementary School learned about sea turtles and then spent a day decorating the stakes that are used to mark the nests.

“We told them about turtles,” said teacher Nirvi Mehta. “We told them to draw turtles, eggs, sand, and what they see in the water. “We did a whole unit on the life of turtles and the dangers they have and how we can protect them, and then they went home and told their parents.”

The children say they enjoyed drawing turtles, sea creatures, eggs, beaches and nests on the stakes. They also learned from the experience.

“We learned that turtles lay eggs on the beach where they were born,” said kindergarten student Amiah Poole, 6. “We learned the turtle might see a plastic bag and think it is a jellyfish and eat it.”

“The baby sea turtles might get their neck stuck in the six rings (plastic holder that soda comes in),” added Alexis Gillespie, 6. “You can clean up the beach so it is safer for them.”

Eve Haverfield, president and founder of Turtle Time, says it is wonderful when schools take the initiative to educate children about the plight of turtles. The children drew on the stakes a few weeks ago and then had to wait and wait for nests to be laid. While Collier County and Captiva had their first nests in April before the May 1 start of turtle nesting season, Bonita had to wait until mid-May for its first nest.

“I guess they are just lazy,” joked Turtle Time volunteer Lynne Crews, who found the first nest. “I don’t know why it took so long.”

The first nest on Bonita was also a new learning experience for Turtle Time’s newest volunteers. Kathleen and Patrick Fitzsimmons and Karla Lewis joined more than 100 other volunteers this year to patrol the beach in the morning looking for nests to mark.

“I have been wanting to do it since the 1980s,” Lewis said. “I finally have the time now.”

“I have always had a fascination with turtles,” Kathleen Fitzsimmons added. “I collect turtle figurines. We moved here in June 2012 and I heard about this organization and we wanted to do something to help the environment and the turtles.”

• To learn more or to volunteer: turtletime.org or call Eve Haverfield at 481-5566
• To report dead or injured sea turtles or if you have accidentally hooked a sea turtle that is small enough to rescue, contact: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-FWCC, or call Turtle Time Inc., 481-5566

First turtle nests appear on Southwest Florida beaches

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Written by Andrea Stetson Special to The News-Press
Apr. 30
Link to original article: http://www.news-press.com/article/20130501/ENT13/305010034/First-turtle-nests-appear-Southwest-Florida-beaches?nclick_check=1

Unlike last year’s fast start, slower cycle forecast for 2013.

Captiva boasted one of the first loggerhead nests in Southwest Florida, laid Sunday. Loggerhead nesting season officially begins today. / The News-Press file photo

More information

Adults grow to more than 3 feet long and weigh 200-350 pounds
• They may travel thousands of miles from feeding grounds to nesting beaches.
• A female loggerhead may nest one to seven times during a season at about 15-day intervals.
• Incubation takes 55-65 days.
• Hatchlings emerge at night and are guided by the lighter Gulf horizon to the water.

The law states interior and exterior lights must not be visible on the beach, furniture must be removed from the beach from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. (must be behind the dunes and vegetation or up against the house). The rule is in effect from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. May 1 to Oct. 31
Source: Turtle Time

By this time last year turtle nests were already covering local beaches. But 2013 is expected to be a more typical season as nesting begins today.

Warmer water in 2011 and 2012 brought an unusual trend of early nests starting in mid-April. Experts say while the Gulf is warming up near shore and on the surface, the water farther out is chilly and that’s where the turtles are.

“The water column is quite cool out there, and they can’t respond overnight,” said Eve Haverfield, president and founder of Turtle Time, which monitors sea turtles in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach. “I think we will be back more to the normal cycle.”

Captiva boasted one of the first loggerhead nest in Southwest Florida, laid Sunday. West Palm Beach has the distinction of being the first in the state with its nest on April 20.

“Last year we had the first nest in Lee County on April 20, ” Haverfield said. “In March this year we had colder water temperatures in the 60s.”

Turtles typically start nesting when the water temperature reaches 80 degrees. Even with the later nesting prediction Haverfield and her volunteers have started monitoring the beaches for nests.

“We started on the 28th officially, but we have actually been out there since mid-April,” she said.

Farther north, some visitors from Volusia County found the first nest by Tween Waters Inn in Captiva on Sunday. Amanda Bryant, who monitors turtles for the Sanibel/Captiva Conservation Foundation, said her group has been monitoring Blind Pass, because of a dredging project, since April 15 and will start regular patrols today.

The 2012 season had a higher than usual number of nests, but a storm in June and one in October washed away many nests.

Collier County just got its first nest Tuesday on Park Shore beach.

Maura Kraus, senior environmental specialist Collier County Department of Natural Resources, hopes for more early nests that hatch before the summer’s hurricanes.

“It’s already been a later start,” Kraus said. “The water temp is at 80 so I hope more are coming. We are hoping for some high numbers like we had last year.”

Kraus said a dredging and renourishment project that just wrapped up in Wiggins Pass built a wider beach on the south end of Barefoot Beach.

“That is nice because that was such a low elevation,” Kraus said. “Before, anything that would have nested there would have washed away in a high tide or would not have nested at all. It is a good place for them to nest because there are no lights, and it is in the preserve.”