Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eleven Year Old Helps Sea Turtles

An eleven year old boy wanted to do something to help sea turtles. He saved for 3 years to make a donation to the Clearwater Aquarium. Read about his donation and how the money was spent.

Friday, December 5, 2008


There are updates available at the The Turtle Hospital Blog, Marathon, Florida, about several of the turtles I've mentioned here earlier.

You can also get news of the hundreds of cold stunned turtles being treated at The Sea Turtle Hospital, at Topsail, NC.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Tortuguero, means "place of the turtles". This Costa Rican seaside is the largest green sea turtle nesting area in the Western Hemisphere. The number of green sea turtles had dwindled, but is now increasing, once again. It is hoped that the numbers grow to make a reality of a legend, that there were so many turtles, you could walk to shore on their shells.

For story and photo, see USA Today article.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

At A Loss For a Christmas Gift?

How about a trip to swim with the turtles?

Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises, was voted 2nd most popular attraction in Barbados, for their personalised cruises. Check it out!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Low-Tech Treatment for Duffy?

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center used a new treatment for injured sea turtles. Duffy, a 76 pound loggerhead sea turtle, has a deep injury from a boat propeller. Read about the treatment that saved her life.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Feeding Lots of Mouths for Thanksgiving!

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on Topsail Island, NC will be feeding a lot of mouths this Thanksgiving.
Read about their guests and why there are reasons to give thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stunned Turtles on Outer Banks Beaches

Sea turtles, stunned by the sudden drop in water temperatures, are washing up on Outer Banks beaches this month. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is running out of space for them.

Read the entire article about the rescues and the plan for a release in the Gulf Stream.

Cold Blamed For Turtle Strandings

Volunteers walk the beaches on the north side of the Cape early in the morning and looking for stranded turtles. They are playing beat the clock, trying to save the many Kemp's Ridley Turtles that have been stunned by the cold water. Another article about the strandings....

Sea Turtles Suffer From Cold Weather

An early cold snap has caused more Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, to wash ashore dead. Since late October, the New England Aquarium in Boston has received 36 turtles, 30 of them since Thursday.

Volunteers walk the beaches of Massachusetts' Cape Cod Bay,during November and December looking for stranded sea turtles. Can you imagine picking up a very cold little turtle, holding him under your warm coat, and in a few minutes feel it begin to wiggle? I think that would be the greatest! Many of the turtles are saved because of the kindness of those volunteers. Read more....

Little Turtle-sicles

Many little, cold sea turtles have been taken to Top Sail, NC Sea Turtle Hospital. They have set a new record at the hospital, as they keep crowding in more tanks to help the rescued turtles recover from being stunned by cold water from the drastic weather change.

Releasing Patti The Loggerhead

Patti the 250 pound loggerhead sea turtle is being released this morning. She was found stranded about one year ago and was taken to the Marine Science Center for rehabilitation. Read her story.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twenty Two Sea Turtles Brought to NC Hospital

In the last few days, 22 sea turtles have been brought to Topsail Beach’s Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, due to cold water temperature. Read and watch a video showing how volunteers have been transporting turtles and working at the hospital.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

Green turtles are Considered sacred in the Hawaiian culture. It would be wonderful to walk along the beach and see them lying around. There is a person who always takes their camera along as they walk the beach. She has taken many photos of the green turtles to share.

Sandy Has Surgery

Sandy the Hawksbill, had surgery Thursday at the Florida Keys Turtle Hospital. Read the update on her condition.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sandy A Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Sandy, a hawksbill sea turtle was flown by American Airlines to Miami, so it can be treated at the world renowned Turtle Hospital in Marathon. The turtle was attacked by wild dogs last month while nesting on a St. Croix beach. Read this article and see a video of the turtle taken upon it's arrival in Florida.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sanibel/Captiva Sea Turtle Stats

If you missed the SCCF Sea Turtle Stats, you have a chance to read about the turtle nesting this season. We had more than Loggerheads this year. :-)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Experts say more study is needed.

The Florida nesting statistics are up this year, but experts are saying not to read too much into that. There is more study needed to assess the turtle trends. They are still leaning toward declaring the Loggerhead Sea Turtle endangered.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Will FeeBee and Milton Stay Together?

Thursday morning at the shoreline of the Indian River Lagoon, friends said goodbye to FeeBee and Milton. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, will monitor the female and male turtles. Since they have grown up together in the same tank, it will be interesting to see if they stay together now that they have been released. They can also choose to hang around the lagoon or migrate back into the ocean. The transmitters on their shells sends a message to a satellite each time they come to the surface to breathe. View the turtles' paths, starting in about two weeks, at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Sea turtles in need of medical care can now be treated at The Loggerhead Marinelife Center, full service hospital that has just opened their new facility.

Turtles will be able to recover in an open ocean water system. Vistors will be able to watch the surgical proceedures and preparation activities.

It is located at 14200 US Highway One in Juno Beach.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

South Carolina Had A Banner Year

South Carolina had a banner year for sea turtles, nearly twice as many as last year. Read the encouraging information. Read the S C nesting stats. The S C Sea Turtle Hospital has interesting information about turtle rescues, treatment and tracking them after their release. I can start reading there and totally loose track of time.

Milton & FeeBee

I'm not sure what happened here because these two sea turtles were scheduled for release in October and now it is November 6. I got this article in my email today and then later a comment from one of my visitors telling me about their up-coming release. ???

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sea Turtles and Cold Shock

With the first real cold snap, endangered Kemp's Ridley, Green and Leatherback sea turtles wash up on the shores of Cape Cod Bay in significant numbers. When the water reaches 50 degrees, these sub-tropical creatures, which drifted north with the Gulf Stream in the summer, go into "cold shock." Still alive but comatose, they eventually wash up on bay beaches and they would freeze to death if humans didn't help.
Read how dedicated volunteers help with their rescue.

Turtle Season Best in Seven Years

Even though nests were lost during the summer storms, the hatchling count was still a pleasant improvement over previous years. Read what the area monitors have to say about the numbers in their particular areas.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2008 Sanibel/Captiva Sea Turtle Statistics

The Sanibel/Captiva Conservation Foundation has put the 2008 Sea Turtle season statistics online. There are also stats for each nest. It makes an interesting read.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Green Sea Turtles To Be Released

Watch a video of the Green Sea Turtles at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. Green sea turtles were bred in captivity, that produced hatchlings now 150 pounds, that will be released into the wild this Saturday.

New Rules to Protect Loggerhead Sea Turtles

An estimated 600 loggerheads a year die in longline fishing. This led Federal fishing regulators to believe they need new rules to protect loggerhead turtles that are dying on commercial grouper lines. Read about some of the possibilities in this article.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Too Many Sea Turtles Caught On Longlines

sea turtles are caught on longlines, is there an answer to this problem? Read about a new federal report.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kemp's Ridley Turtle Nesting On Texas Coast

A record 195 Kemp's ridley turtle nests were found on the Texas coast this nesting season. It's the fifth consecutive record-breaking year since record keeping began in 1980. While monitoring those nests, they were surprised by also finding four green turtles, four loggerheads and one leatherback nest. Find some interesting reading here.

Go here to see some cute Kemp's Ridley hatchlings.

Go here to read about a job opening in the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery, assisting with a variety of sea turtle science and recovery projects at Padre Island National Seashore.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What Is Wrong With People?

Everytime I read one of these stories, I have to sit and wonder, what is wrong with people who do such things?

I found a video of the turtle and also a more detailed article here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hawksbill hatchlings have Hawaiian help.

Watch a cute video of baby hawksbill turtles hatching from nest eggs and crawl through the rocky black sand towards the ocean.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

South Carolina Report

South Carolina reports a banner year!

Georgia Reports

Tropical Storm Fay didn't keep Georgia from having a record setting turtle season.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kermit The Sea Turtle

Kermit was rescued by a swimmer, September 20, when he was found in the surf floating upside down. Read why the turtle is a “patient” of the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team.

Belle swims for second in marathon

The Tour de Turtle marathon is continuing. As of now Belle is swimming for second place, behind Maritime who has been haulin' shell! Little Crush my favorite is still going back and forth, just hangin' out in the same area. I think he likes it there. :-)

You can read an article about it here, and don't forget that you can also check up on the contenders at .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More About Johnny

There is another article about Johnny's injuries and release, along with some pictures.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Johnny The Loggerhead

A sub adult Loggerhead Sea Turtle named Johnny, has made a remarkable recovery and was released this morning. The turtle had been attacked with a machete, in July. You can read the complete story about it's injuries and treatment at The Turtle Hospital. The hospital is located at Marathon, Florida. It tells about the release and you have to look down further to a July entry about the injuries and treatment.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hurt sea turtles, do time!

Read how another man has been sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in an international ring that smuggled endangered sea turtles. He and seven other defendants were arrested in March after selling 700 turtle skins. And we wonder why sea turtles are endangered.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sea Turtle Smugglers

It is good to know that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been catching some of the individuals who take part in the illegal international trade of skins and products made from protected sea turtles and other wildlife.

I felt both good and bad when I read this article. It is so sad that so many sea turtles perished, but it's reasuring to know that the laws are being enforced to help protect them as well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sea Turtle Hospital Has Visitors

The Sea Turtle Hospital at Top Sail, hosts students and volunteers frequently. They have some cute stories to tell about some of the turtles, in this article.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Sea Turtles Getting Pushed Back By Wind

Baby sea turtles usually spend several years, about 25 miles from shore, living on floating sea weed. Recent high winds have pushed huge amounts of the sea weed onto the eastern shore, leaving the little turtles stranded. Read how they are being rescued.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

'Eartha' To Be Released Oct. 5

After being treated for five months, Eartha a Loggerhead sea turtle will be released at 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, 14200 S. U.S. 1, Juno Beach.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

FeeBee and Milton Head Out To Sea

Two six year old Loggerheads, after spending all their lives as part of a national sea study, will be released in the Florida waters to make their own way. Read more more about the two sea turtles and the plans for their release on October 5.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Deadly Trail Of Plastic

A single net recently hauled up off the Florida coast contained more than 1,000 dead fish, sharks, and one loggerhead turtle. Why did this happen? Is it because there is a huge area of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, that is full of a plastic stew that is called the "Eastern Garbage Patch". That trail of plastic goes on for hundreds of miles. All sea creatures are threatened by floating plastic. This is not a pleasant story to read, but we need to be aware of what is happening to our planet. This article could make us think twice about being so careless as to drop a flip flop on the beach.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tiny Turtles Arrived On Seaweed Rafts

Post-hatchling loggerheads washed up on shore along Carolina Beaches after Hanna passed through. They had traveled the rough waves on little seaweed rafts, and they were covered with brownish-green algae. Read about their treatment at the Sea Turtle Hospital and about their planned release.

To report a dead or injured sea turtle in this area, call (800) DIAL-FMP, Turtle Time at (239) 481-5566, or Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation at (239) 472-2329.

*The updated nesting statistics for Sanibel as of September 15, are 29 Nests - 20 Hatches on the East End; 234 Nests and 150 Hatches on the West End. Captiva reported 135 Nests and 53 Hatches as of August 11.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tilly The Turtle

Tilly a 3 year old loggerhead is far from Florida, but Tilly's adventure makes a nice story.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Little Jetty Released Today

A kemp's ridley sea turtle called, Little Jetty was released today. Little Jetty had been caught on a fisherman's hook. He went through surgery and nursed back to health at the South Carolina Aquarium. Read Little Jetty's story.

Young Fisherman Sets Example

A young commercial fisherman stops his work when he found an injured green sea turtle in one of his nets. He transported the turtle to the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at Topsail, NC. Read the full story of this twenty year old's kind deed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Large Living For Joey

After being raised in aquariums, Joey a 120 lb loggerhead was released Thursday, in the Atlantic. The Georgia Aquarium and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center outfitted Joey with a satellite transmitter to keep track of his travels, which made saying goodbye much easier. Watch the release.

Loggerheads, Milton and Feebee

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center will be releasing two loggerheads, Milton and Feebee in October. They will have attached satellite tags that will allow them to be tracked and their progress will be posted online. Will they stay together or go their seperate ways?

While at the Gumbo Limbo site, be sure to also read about the Sea Turtle Entangled in Sea Grapes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kemp's ridley Turtle Named Marley

A Kemp's ridley turtle was rescued, cared for at Sea Turtle Inc and then released. Read the touching story of how rescuing and later releasing Marley changed the lives of a father, son and grandson; making all three of them sea turtle conservationists.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

An Email From Eve Haverfield

With the loss of so many nests here on Sanibel and Captiva,due to the high surf associated with TS Fay; I couldn't put the disappointment aside. I had questions as to why we couldn't have done more to save them. I read several news articles about nests being moved or dug on the east coast, after a threat of high surf, so that had me wondering.

I've been a reader and regular visitor to TurtleTime.Org and had read a lot of articles about Turtle Time's Founder and Director, Eve Haverfield. I decided to send an email to her asking for answers to a few of my questions.

I received an immediate reply from her. I sent another email asking permission to post her message on my blog. She gladly gave her consent. I have posted it below:

Hi Tootie,

I struggle with the same sentiments regarding intervention during times of obvious detrimental weather events. Many years ago ( I have been monitoring sea turtles on Sanibel for 29 years now...yikes!!), we did intervene on Sanibel in advance of hurricanes but now, the State no longer condones those kinds of measures. I can understand the reasoning, although sometimes the results are tragic. Unfortunately, well-intentioned mitigation may cause more harm than good. Sea turtles have tolerated many natural events over the eons and have survived. Even following Hurricanes Charley, we documented ‘miracle nests’….nests that were submerged for hours. I stood on Bonita Beach looking for the GPS coordinates for the nest since all markers had been washed away. Lo and behold, I looked down and there at my feet a tiny flipper was waving at me from beneath a thin layer of sand…it gives me goose bumps just writing about that experience….but back to the question why we don’t do more:

One huge factor is that the Bureau of Protected Species Management (FWCC)…the bureau that issues our marine permits so that we may work with endangered sea turtles…has issued guidelines for us that we are expected to follow. They frown on individuals ‘doing their own thing’….and rightfully so. The 70-day dig applies to nests that give no indication of having hatched; those nests that clearly have hatched are dug 3 days post-hatch so that everyone who is robust can emerge on their own. The more vigorous a hatchling is, the more chance for survival. On the beaches that Turtle Time monitors, we do relocate all nests that are below the mean high tide line, simply because the beaches have been so compromised by irresponsible raking practices…unlike on Sanibel and Captiva.

Take heart that under normal conditions, Sanibel and Captiva have provided the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean with strong healthy female turtle babies (sex is determined by sand temperature) for ages! Lighting regulations have facilitated their reaching the Gulf! Conditions definitely have improved. Thinking/writing about the more positive aspects of sea turtle conservation makes me feel better! : < })

Thank you for caring!!
Cheers, Eve

Belle taking bronze in sea turtle marathon

For those of you who have been watching Tour de Turtles. There is an article about Belle's progress. It's amazing to see how far the turtles have gone. That is all except Little Crush. Everytime I look at the map of where it has gone, I have to laugh. I think they let the little turtle see too much of the Disney Resort when he was released and it wants to stay there; it just keeps going back.

Area Turtle Nests Take A Hit

Tropical Storm Fay, followed by high winds after it passed kept the surf pounding until many nests could no longer take the constant wetness. When nests are saturated for long periods of time, the embryos do not get enough oxygen to survive.

The good side of this story is that Bonita Beach nests fared well.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Turtle nest dug up ahead of tropical storm

At Virginia Beach, a loggerhead turtle nest was so close to the ocean that the storm waves would drown everything inside. A biologist from a wildlife refuge was so concerned about the threatened species that, even though he thought it was possible the nest had already hatched, he decided to dig it to be sure. After digging in the rain as Tropical Storm Hanna approached, 27 baby turtles had been rescued and released. Fifty-one empty eggshells were found. Another 86 unhatched, rotted eggs were gathered. Because he cared enough to do this, more baby turtles have a chance at survival. Read the full story in The Virginian-Pilot.

Possible “flipper evacuation"

Read why and how 22 sea turtles may need to be evacuated. (The sixth article)

Baby Sea Turtles Get A Helping Hand

Members of the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project help around 100 baby turtles get out of their nest in a sort of induced labor, just hours before the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna. Read how North Carolina is taking measures to protect their remaining sea turtle nests. (The story is the fourth article from the top.)

Is Beach Nourishment a Threat to Sea Turtles

There is plenty of ongoing controversy about this subject. Read some of the pros and cons.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sanibel Beach Camping Illegal

I just wanted to let concerned readers know, the campers I mentioned in some of my turtle walk posts, were caught. I don't believe they will be back leaving their trash for others to pick up anymore. I thought it was just a matter of time.

100 Hawksbill Turtles Die

Another sad story of poaching internationally-protected marine life. Fewer and fewer turtles are living long enough to reproduce.

Hawksbill Turtles are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically-endangered--the highest risk rating for a living animal save for being completely extinct in the wild.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

No More Turtle Walks This Season For Me

This is an email we received from our Permittee today. I believe they are still going to watch those nests that have the markings still intact. Even though it is doubtfull they will hatch after being washed over with water and sand, we can still hope.

Due to Gustav, all remaining East End nests were washed over to some extent and have hard packed sand on them.

As a result, and because the nesting part of the turtle season is over, it is NOT necessary to walk your Zones anymore.

What we do ask, is that those of you who have nests with a possibility of hatching, visit those nests until they do hatch or are dug.

The status of the Nests, by Zones, is as follows:
Zone 1, none
Zone 2, Nest #28; this is located at Sanibel Moorings in front of the westernmost walkway
Zone 3, none
Zone 4, none
Zone 5, Nest #21; located at Gulfside City Park, 40 yards east of the easternmost walkway
Zone 6, Nest #27; located at White Sands, 10 feet west of their boardwalk and Nests #20 and #29, both of these are at Pointe Santo de Sanibel, one at the easternmost building the other at the westernmost building.

As bad as this seems, earlier nests did have large clutch sizes that hatched!

Lost Turtle Nests

About mid-afternoon, the waves got very high. The tide was up exceptionally high. It had washed sand and shells all the way up into the dunes.

We saw 3 turtle nests that have been washed over, near access # 2.

Our last remaining nest in Zone 1, is gone; we couldn't even find the stakes. ;-(

I hope I am wrong, but I seriously doubt there will be a nest left on the island.

There is a high surf advisory here for 24 hours.

I looked back through the figures that had been sent to us and it looks like there were 266 nests on Sanibel;124 of those had hatched. If that figure is correct, then there would have been 142 nests still to hatch. I don't have the figures for Captiva, but it seems to me, that at one point I was thinking there were over 350 total nests adding both islands together.

Bokeelia Island’s First Sea Turtle Nest

Southwest Florida's sea turtles usually lay their eggs on barrier island beaches. But this season a loggerhead nest has been found on Bokeelia Island, off the north end of Pine Island. This will be the island's first nest on record.

Walk #18

Went to start the turtle walk at 6:20, and it was still dark out, very windy and dark rain clouds were lurking overhead. I planned to walk as fast as possible so I could finished before it started raining. Going out the boardwalk, I felt a few sprinkles. After getting just a little way up the beach, it started raining lightly.

There were a couple of piles of trash to pick up, each consisting of 7 or 8 corona bottles and empty wrappers from snacks, also a plastic waste paper container and a 5 gallon bucket. At the Light House Beach parking area, I was on my way to the dumpster with all this stuff, when I slipped and fell down. I got all muddy, scratched one leg and then had to gather up the trash for the second time. (I was talking to myself and saying bad words by that time!) There was also a large aluminum frame for a sun shade or cabana type thing, lying on the ground by one of the boardwalks.

Went back out on the beach and walked into the water to wash my hands and legs off. Ok, I’m still in one piece so I had better get this finished before it starts pouring down rain.

Just about the time I reached the one remaining turtle nest in our zone, it started raining harder. The nest had one stake broken and the yellow marker tape was broken and blowing in the wind. I walked in, underneath some sea grape bushes so that I could take a picture out over the water, and also wipe the rain off my glasses.

Hurried off again, walking in the water to go around bushes etc. Just before I reached the fishing pier, it started pouring down rain. There were several people on the pier fishing, and they were under the roof. They looked at me like I was crazy, as I went around the boardwalk and kept hurrying on. By now I could hardly see for the water running off my hair and over my glasses. The birds even knew better than to stay out, because I didn’t see any of them around after it started raining. The only birds I had seen were just after I started walking. Other than those people on the fishing pier, I had only seen one couple walking past as I started my walk.

I had put my cell phone in one of the extra trash bags I had in my pocket, so I couldn’t really take pictures. The only good ones today would have been of me on the ground, anyway. I just kept thinking that we had been fortunate to avoid the rain numerous times before, and you can’t expect that to happen every time.

Now, the next best thing to happen was….when I went from the beach, I slipped and fell once more. This time I had my wet glasses in my hand because I couldn’t see with them on. I fell on top of them and both lenses came out. I just grabbed them up and then picked myself up, shook my head and went on. I had to get in a vehicle soaking wet, muddy and disgruntled. But, when I think of it now, it’s pretty comical. At least there was no lightning.

Till next week…….I’ll try to stay dry!

There were practically no shells on this part of the beach this morning.

Now, wouldn't you know that it quit raining and the sun came out, 20 minutes later!

Did you know?
Sea turtles spend almost all their lives submerged but must breathe air for the oxygen needed to meet the demands of vigorous activity. With a single explosive exhalation and rapid inhalation, sea turtles can quickly replace the air in their lungs.

Loggerhead sea turtles dive for about 4 to 5 minutes and surface to breathe for 1 to 3 seconds. A female loggerhead tracked at sea made up to 500 dives every 12 hours.
Turtles can rest or sleep underwater for several hours at a time but submergence time is much shorter while diving for food or to escape predators.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

SCCF Nesting Statistics, as of 08-30-08

SCCF Turtle Nesting Statistics For This Week

On Wednesday, 8/27, nests 22 and 23 hatched. They were dug today and yielded:

#22 – 36 empty shells, 33 pipped dead in shell, one dead in nest and 74 unhatched
#23 – 75 empty shells, 6 unhatched, 2 pipped dead in shell and one live (released)

Still watching:

Zone 1 – Nest #26
Zone 2 – Nests # 28 and 33
Zone 3– Nests # 30
Zone 4 – no nests
Zone 5 – Nests # 21 (due) and 31
Zone 6 – Nests # 19 (due), 20 (due), 24, 25, 27, 29 and 32

Nest #19 will be dug in the morning, as a 70 day nest.

Baby Sea Turtle Named Eric

A 12 year old boy was digging in the sand and found a baby loggerhead turtle. That tiny 2" turtle brought out an entire Stranding Team and a truck load of biologists. This cute story can be seen at the Virginian-Pilot.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Belle Had Overnight Sitters

Have you been keeping up with the sea turtles progress in 'Tour de Turtles'? It is so interesting tracking the turtles as they make their journey. Belle o’ Brevard is one turtle in the race. This story tells about her having sitters overnight before her release.

Belle is currently in third place. She has traveled 501 miles in 26 days. Watching the turtles progress is amazing!

Another turtle that I find interesting to watch is 'Little Crush', the turtle that was rehabilitated at the Living Seas. It seems the little turtle doesn't want to leave, as it just keeps going back and forth in the area it was released. I think the poor little turtle didn't want to leave Disney World. It is currently in 6th place, even though it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Read what Walt Disney World is doing to help save our sea turtles. There is also a link in the side bar on that site to a more involved story about Belle.

Hatchlings Escape on the Fringes of Tropical Storm

South Carolina, sea turtle volunteers rescue four hatchlings as Tropical Storm Fay approached. Read the full story at Myrtle Beach Online.

Sea Turtles Get a Send Off From Honeymoon Island

Three young sea turtles were released from Honeymoon Island State Park, after their rehabilitation at Clearwater Aquarium. Read their story in The Sun Coast News.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Snap, Crackle and Pop left Virginia to go home

Tuesday morning three Kemp's ridley turtles, named Snap, Crackle and Pop, were released back into the wild. They were rescued earlier this summer from an intake canal at a New Jersey nuclear power plant. A nice story.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay destroyed fewer loggerhead sea turtle nests on Georgia beaches

I suppose this could be considered better news than the losses reported from Southeast Florida.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources biologists and sea turtle patrol volunteers conducted surveys on all of their beaches except Blackbeard Island. There were 106 nests lost, which wasn't as bad as they had expected. To read the article.

Thousands Of Sea Turtle Nests Damaged By Fay

Tropical storm Fay caused damage to Southeast Florida sea turtle nests due to high surf and beach erosion. Over 1,000 nests of loggerhead and green turtles were lost, just on Juno Beach. Read the full story on West Palm Beach News.

Two Headed Hatchling

I don't know if I should say this is a unique story or a sad one; but is is interesting to say the least. A little two-headed turtle was the last hatchling out of a nest at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. You can see it and read the stories about how it made it's way to the ocean and why a little girl gave it two names; Hope and Faith. (Two links to two different stories.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Turtle Traffic

OK, this is by far, my favorite! You'll see what I mean. :-) Just click on the turtle.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Walk #17

After checking the weather and seeing that a thunder storm was headed our way; we decided to get started a little early, with hope we could get through before it got here. Not being all that sure, I put an umbrella in my back pack.

Evidently the weather wasn’t keeping everyone away. A couple with several small children walked past, carrying a flashlight and heading for the beach.

Walking out the boardwalk, all I could see was huge white clouds just west of us. I’m sure there were probably more, but those were the only ones close and low enough to see. I took a picture, but it was still dark enough that you can barely see the white cloud with some palms in front of it. You may have to use your imagination a little bit.

The waves had been big yesterday, but today wasn’t as bad. It was still very windy. As I looked up and down the beach, I could see some dark things by the water. Walking on to get a closer look, we found they were crab traps. By the time we reached the light house, I had counted over one dozen of them. The rough water had brought them on shore.

There was a lot of seaweed washed up along with some pen shells, and some other ordinary shells. Most everything had barnacles all over it or was broken. (Please keep in mind; I am only referring to the shelling conditions on the section of beach where I was.)

The tide had been really high, but had started going back out. There were several people out looking for shells. I imagine they anticipated finding good shelling this morning, after the big waves yesterday. But that really wasn’t the case. All I saw was a lot of yuck and it smelled bad, not something I would want to dig through. I did spot one angel wing that was not broken, but it had lots of barnacles on it, so I threw it down again.

There was foam left on the sand, from the waves, in several places.

Someone had left two nice beach chairs out. It’s surprising that they hadn’t washed away. We carried them up to a walkway that led to some condos, thinking they probably came from there.

There was a lot of trash that had been left in a pile, but it had blown all over the place. Left over scraps of food that was covered with ants and 2 pampers neatly rolled up. UGH! Parts of that mess had blown up into the dunes. By the time we finished picking all that up, we already had a large trash bag full and had to go throw it in the dumpster at the parking area.

A little further up the beach, we found a cute sea turtle and a sea horse.

There were a lot of shore birds this morning; I guess the smell must have attracted them.

Right about here, a lady stopped me and asked if I could tell her where you go to find the good shells. I told her about the bad weather we had, the rough seas for the last couple of days, and that was the reason for all the mess on the beach. I had also read that someone said they had been finding shells in an area between middle and west gulf, so they might want to try there. But, unfortunately they had just arrived last night and didn’t know their way around because this was their first trip to Sanibel. Then I told her not to get discouraged because later today or tomorrow the shells could start rolling in, you just never know.

I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be here on vacation and not able to find good shelling. When you see advertising connected to Sanibel Island, you always see photos of shell covered beaches, not the way it looks when there are only a few or none. This island is known as the shelling capital of the world, so people come here expecting to see mounds of shells on the beach; sadly Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate.

A little close up of what Mother Nature had to offer this morning.

This appeared to be a clothes basket with a rope handle tied onto it. It had probably been used for bait; at least it smelled like it. Yuck!

It’s nice to see that people appreciate a neat, clean picnic area. With a dumpster within 20 yards, they bagged their trash and left it sitting there. Go figure....

I saw a few paper fig shells, but they all had broken places on them.

I’m not sure who this guy was, but he was out swimming. The fellow you see in the background was using a cast net and the birds were all flocking around him. He was swinging his arms at them, trying to scare them away, but they kept going right back again. I think he finally gave up, because after we had gone around the pier; he threw his net up on the boardwalk.

The sun was finally coming up! But, in the other direction there were clouds lurking and you could hear thunder.

Birds were looking around, trying to find something edible on the beach. There were a couple of dead fish mixed in there, but they didn’t seem interested in those.

Pelicans were bobbing up and down with the waves; having a relaxing Sunday morning.

The wind and waves brought some things ashore that someone might miss. Like, how will they know where the ‘swim area’ is?

The water was up higher than it had been on any of our other walks. So, we would have to watch for a place to go around soon.

As I looked at pelicans, hanging out on a pier; I noticed the water was a reddish brown color, which is usually associated with Red Tide, but I don’t think that is the reason for it here. I say that because anytime there is Red Tide anywhere near, I start coughing because it really bothers me a lot. I had no problem with that today, so I am guessing that it just has something to do with the rain and rough water we have had.

At this point we had to walk over to a different street because there wasn’t any room to walk the last bit of our zone. At the end of the street, I stopped to take a picture of a huge, agave. There are many of these on the island and some of them are even bigger. I guess after living in a colder climate all my life, I notice these more than some people would. I think they are beautiful.

We made our walk without getting rained on. Many times, it seems as though the clouds spread apart and go around the island. It is very strange.

Until next week.....

Did you know?

Hatchlings often eat sponges, jellyfishes, sargassum weed, small gastropods and crustaceans. Juveniles, sub-adults and adults feed upon conch, clams, horseshoe crab, as well as other crustaceans. They have powerful jaws that enable them to easily crush the hard shells of their prey. During migration through the open sea, loggerheads eat jellyfishes, pteropods, floating molluscs, floating egg clusters, squids and flying fishes. It commonly noses around coral reefs, rocky places and old boat wrecks for food.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Turtle Nesting Statistics as of August 23, 2008

No new nests this week, and sadly not a great result with the digs.

Last Sunday, Nest #7 was dug; false crawl


Nest #12 was dug with 86 hatches, 45 unhatched, 6 live in nest (and released) and 2 piped (means the turtle had pecked through the shell but could not get out) dead in shell; Nest #13 was dug with 68 hatches, 9 unhatched, 1 live in nest (and released) and 4 dead in nest;

Nest # 15 was dug with 97 hatches, 23 unhatched 4 live in nest (released) and 9 piped dead in shell.Tuesday nothing.


Nest # 18 was dug with 38 hatches, 67 unhatched and 23 live in nest (released)---this was an unusual situation wherein the nest hatched the 14th but wasn't dug until the 20th due to the storm etc.


Nest #8 was dug and 114 unhatched eggs were found---the nest had probably been inundated with water.Friday Nest # 22 was dug with 1 hatch and 99 unhatched---this nest had been inundated with water.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sanibel-Captiva Sea Turtle Nests in Good Shape!


As Tropical Storm Fay threatened Southwest Florida Monday, sea turtle monitors worried because a storm surge could wipe out sea turtle nests along the Lee County beaches.

The storm came in south of Lee County and moved inland. So there was no surge, keeping our nests safe.

Amanda Bryant, coordinator of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation's Sea Turtle Program, said that our nests are in really good shape and as far as she knows, we haven't lost a nest to the storm. However, some of the nests on lower beaches were washed over. So, time will tell if that did harm to the turtle eggs. For now, it is just a relief the storm passed us by and no nests were washed out.

Sea TurtlesVisit Italian Restaurant

60 newly hatched sea turtles lost their way during their trip to the sea and walked right into an Italian restaurant instead. Diners were curious and amused at first, but quickly called coastal authorities to rescue the group. Poor little guys, I have visions of them covering their eyes with tiny flippers and screaming, "bright lights, bright lights"! The stranded turtles, which had hatched on a beach in the southern Italian region of Calabria, were released into the sea.

Another example of why we need to keep lighting away from beach areas.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lee County Turtle Nests Safe

Eve Haverfield, president of Turtle Time sea turtle monitoring program, says that the sea turtle nests in Lee County are safe, for now. There was much concern that the tides and rain associated with Tropical Storm Fay would cause the nests to be washed over. Read the article on Newstime Press.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Walk #16

This morning arriving at the beach access at 6:15 was a little too early, so we waited a few minutes. Bug spray was applied because I had noseeums bothering me last week until it got more light out. I stuffed my little back pack with extra trash bags and we were off!

There was a full moon, but it still wasn’t very light out because clouds were covering it most of the time.

You can barely see the moon between clouds and palm trees. Rember click on all pictures; they are much better.

I could see lights twinkling on Ft Myers Beach and the light was blinking on the light house; other than that the only lights were on a few boats.

There was a nice cool breeze from the east, which would keep the noseeums away. It was very quiet; you could hear only the gentle lap of the waves, until a boat went by, then after it past, all was peaceful again. It’s really nice to be out so early to enjoy the quiet, while you watch wildlife and people begin to come out for the day.

The sky began to take on a light pink color that was coming up from behind clouds. It would be a while before the sun could work its way above them.

There wasn’t much on the beach, just the usual deep holes dug here and there and a beach chair left by someone to carry up to a boardwalk. Hopefully it belongs to someone in one of the condos and they will find it later. I’m not sure but they must have had one of the Olympic Games here yesterday because I could see the remnants left by Ronz Team. J I have not heard of that country.

The beach was pretty deserted this morning; we had only seen a very few people before reaching the light house.

The tide was a little lower today, so we could walk part of the way around on the beach, and then had to cut through the picnic area again.

. Just as we started to leave the beach there was a whole bunch of Happy Sixteenth Birthday, helium filled balloons laying in the edge of the water. I carried them up to the dumpster and put them inside, putting the lid back down on top of them. I had to laugh, when I thought of how funny it would be when they came to dump it, because when you raised the lid up, the balloons came floating up.

Walking back out onto the beach, you could see the sun getting brighter behind the clouds. I guessed we would eventually have a sunny day after all.

Only a few fishermen were on the pier and it didn’t look like there was much action going on either.

There were a lot of big birds out on the beach this morning, more than we usually see. I suppose that was because there were fish jumping up from the water now and then.

A sand sculpture was left near the pier. Some little person had spent much of their time carrying buckets of wet sand and had placed a white seashell on the top of each little mound. There was also a row of mangrove seed pods all arranged in a nice little row as landscaping.

As we walked along the bay side, you could see the full moon ahead, while the sun was coming up behind us.

A heron caught my eye as he stood all alone on a dock. He was on the top edge of a bench; maybe waiting for his ship to come in.

Well, our adventure for this Sunday morning is over. It’s hard to believe that as beautiful as this day is, there could possibly be a hurricane coming here in a matter of hours. If it does, many of our remaining turtle nests could be washed away. So, please send positive thoughts this way.

Till next time……

Did you know?

From the time of nest emergence up to 24 to 72 hours after entering the ocean, hatchlings remain in a state often referred to as frenzy. During this period, hatchlings remain in a swimming state. It has been suggested that this may serve to get the hatchlings away from shore and coastal predators, out to deeper waters. Very little is known about sea turtles from the point that hatchlings enter the ocean until at least 20 years later when the females become sexually mature and come ashore again to nest.