Coyotes are eating sea turtles on Sanibel


SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla.,- Caught on camera! Coyotes are eating sea turtle hatchlings on Sanibel Island. Right now, Sanibel is working on a way to combat the problem.

Coyotes were caught in the act, preying on baby sea turtles.

“It’s scary. It’s scary to think they are roaming around our beaches,” said Melissa Barczak.

Our partners at the News-Press say coyotes have damaged 60 nests on Sanibel and Captiva.  Sanibel says coyotes are a fairly new sighting for biologists. The first coyote was spotted on island in 2011.

“It’s a huge concern for us. Sea turtles are a protected species and we go to great lengths to protect them and make sure conditions here are suitable for them,” said Environmental Biologist Holly Milbrandt.

Biologist Holly Milbrandt tells WINK News sea turtles are a food source for coyotes, so a good sea turtle season means there is more food for coyotes.

“The good thing is rarely do coyotes destroy an entire nests. They eat some portion of the hatchling and leave some behind,” said Milbrandt.

The city has set up cameras to track the coyotes.

“There are sound and smell cues that draw them in.”

You can see these pictures here are giving biologist some much needed evidence

“We know it’s coyotes because we can see tracks and unfortunately we have had wildlife cameras taking footage of seas turtle nests.”

The city is asking anyone who sees a coyote to call the Sanibel Police Departments non-emergency line so they can keep track of the sightings.

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