Sea turtle nesting season going strong on Sanibel-Captiva

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Credit: WINK News

Dozens of sea turtle nests washed away and many more washed over after Tropical Storm Cristobal kicked up waves on Sanibel and Captiva islands.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation checked on nests Thursday.

“We’re just checking for signs of hatch on some of the nests that are getting close or any signs of degradation, any other activity, fire ants, things like that, just to make sure everything looks good,” said Jack Brzoza, staff biologist with the foundation.

They’ll tell you the nesting season looks good, too.

“Our season started off really early and really strong and we documented more nests than we’ve ever seen before in April. It slowed down a little bit on Sanibel. We have about 350 nests, which is down compared to last year, but Captiva has 172 nests as of today, which is twice as many as we had at this time last year,” said Kelly Sloan, the sea turtle program coordinator.

But when Cristobal made waves, the islands lost 30 nests.

“Each individual will nest about five or even more times per season, so even if one nest washes out, they usually have at least one more on the beach that will be successful.”

With your help, nesting season can go swimmingly.

“Fill in your holes at the end of the day, knock down your sandcastles and pick up your trash and also keep the beaches as dark as possible.”

Sea turtle nesting season typically ends near the end of July, but hatching season ends around the end of October or early November.

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