Hurricane Idalia effectively ended the sea turtle nesting season this year, much like Hurricane Ian did last year. The good news
is that most of the nesting season was already completed before either storm hit the area.
This season the number of nests and hatchlings was down from 2022, according to Denise Juergens, marine turtle permit holder for the Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association (BGSTA), which covers the entire island except for the state park properties. She said, however, that there was good news
with this year’s final tally of nests and hatchlings.
“This year the depredation rate in our nests went from roughly 47 percent in 2022 to 12 percent,” she said.
Depredation is the disturbance of the nests and hatchlings by dogs, seabirds, raccoons, ghost crabs and other predators. On Gasparilla Island, most of the destruction is done by coyotes, Juergens said.