Some of the first sea turtle numbers from Coastal Wildlife Club patrol numbers are in, and it looks as though the year is off to a promising start.
As of Friday, May 24, Zone 4, which stretches from the county line to 40th Street, is seeing the most activity, with seven confirmed nests and five false crawls. When a false crawl is reported, that means the beach patroller sees the tracks of the turtle coming from the ocean, up the beach, then turning around and heading back to the ocean without making a nest.
“I have asked many scientists and researchers just what causes them to do that, and none of them really know,” said island sea turtle patroller Nancy Lingeman. “They say it’s just a woman’s perogative to change her mind.”
Zone five has nine confirmed nests, Zones seven and eight each have five nests, Zone 6 has four nests. See the complete list below for more information.
Information about what beach is covered by what zones is as follows:
• Zone 1 is from Gasparilla Pass to the south end of Sea Watch• Zone 2 is from the south end of Sea Watch to the north border of the Boca Grande Club• Zone 3 is Boca Grande Club• Zone 4 is from the county line to 40th Street• Zone 5 is from 40th Street to 25th Street• Zone 6 covers from 25th Street to 10th Street• Zone 7 is in between 10th Street and 1st Street• Zone 8 is from 1st Street to Sea Grape Colony, and also covers a little bit of state park land• Zone 9 covers from Sea Grape to Belcher Road and around to the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse• There is a separate zone for the Gasparilla Island State Park land at the south end. On Gasparilla Island State Park land, there are no nests yet.
Sea turtles, which are among the oldest creatures on earth, have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years; however, they face an uncertain future. Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution (physical and light) are only some of the things sea turtles must face as each species struggles to stay alive.
To report someone disturbing a sea turtle nest or an injured, dead, or harassed Sea Turtle call (888) 404-FWCC (3922).
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