Thursday, July 10, 2008

Loggerhead sea turtle is a new state symbol

Loggerhead sea turtle is a new state symbol

News Release by the Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation commission
June 30, 2008
Contact: Bonnie Abellera, 850-922-4330

Starting July 1, the loggerhead sea turtle is the official Florida saltwater reptile.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the loggerhead sea turtle (scientific name: Caretta caretta) is the most common sea turtle to nest along Florida’s coast. Its designation as the official Florida saltwater reptile recognizes this threatened species at a time when loggerhead nest counts are down.

Typically, about 90 percent of loggerhead nests in the United States are in Florida. Almost half the loggerhead nests in the world occur on Florida’s beaches.

Over the past 19 years, Florida’s loggerhead sea turtle nest counts have declined 37 percent. The species nests from late April until September in Florida. Hatchlings emerge after incubating in warm sand for two months.

The FWC credits students from the Florida State University School’s Middle School Science Honors Class for pursuing the state symbol designation during the 2007-08 school year and the 2008 legislative session.

The loggerhead sea turtle was one of four symbols the students proposed for addition to the state list. Working with State Representative Curtis Richardson (D-Tallahassee), the students provided information and answered questions regarding the symbols. Richardson amended an already-existing state symbol bill to include the loggerhead sea turtle.

The FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Section administers protection and conservation of Florida’s sea turtles with funding from a sea turtle specialty license plate, which also features a loggerhead hatchling, and from annual sea turtle decal sales.

FWC staff assists with research, recovery, beach construction permit review, lighting issues, educational materials and administration in addition to coordinating a network of volunteers around the state who record and monitor sea turtle nests during nesting season.

For more information about FWC sea turtle research and management programs or to see this article, visit

1 comment:

Snowbird said...

Way to go Loggerheads!!