Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Turtle Walk # 3

This was a chilly morning for an early turtle walk. It was very cloudy, 68 degrees and a strong NE wind. I was wearing shorts and short sleeve shirt, was barefoot and wished I had a jacket.

It was pretty dark, on arrival at the beach. The Ft Myers Beach lights were shining brightly across the water, as was the beacon in our lighthouse.

In only a few minutes, there was enough light to start walking. It's important for any of you beach walkers to wait until it's light enough, because of all the holes, that are not easily seen. It's somewhat encouraging to know that the Sanibel PD is increasing their enforcement of beach ordinances. Holes on the beach are becoming more of a problem. Any large holes in a turtle walker's zone are to be reported. SCCF is working with the city to document the problem and find a solution.

All along the way, I kept noticing how many lights were on. During 'Turtle Nesting Season', there are notices in each condo, requesting that you keep the blinds or curtains closed if you have lights on during the dark hours. Keeping lights turned off on the lanais and by condo doors is also important. But, as dark as it still was, lights seemed to be glowing everywhere in this zone. I was thinking that if I was a sea turtle, I would most definitely turn around and try to find another place to lay my eggs. It is really surprising that people can be so thoughtless or uncaring.

There were so many clouds still hanging around this morning, that I never got a glimpse of the sun.

This fellow is doing my kind of fishing! I hope he won't be mad if he sees himself on my blog. I just thought he was so cute, sitting there all relaxed.

There were few shells, and all were small. It was very hard to spot the ones that I picked up, while walking along. I had to stop, do the stoop, and wait a few seconds to focus on them. Hmmm, is that another sign of old age? If so, I don't like that one either. Yes.....I have others.

It wasn't difficult to spot, the all too common in the sunshine state, 'orange peel scallop'.

You've probably already guessed, this is the common 'marked float on a rope'. A 10 foot rope, to be exact.

Better when viewed on YouTube in HD, by clicking on the screen below.

There were no signs of a turtle crawl today and I was ready for a stop at the Sanibel Cafe and some hot coffee!

I cleaned my little shells when I got home. Here they are....Ta...da!


2008 Statewide Sea Turtle Survey Results

Sanibel and Captiva weren’t the only beaches
to see an increase in sea turtle nesting last year.
In 2008, there were 61,455 loggerhead nests that
produced 3,583,893 hatchlings in the state of
Florida. This is down from the 1998 peak of 85,000
nests but an increase from 2007’s all time nesting
low. Despite this increase, the decreasing trend in
loggerhead nesting continues. Nesting has decreased
41% during the last ten years. With 90%
of all U.S. loggerhead nests occurring in the state,
2008 leaves us hopeful, but still concerned for the
plight of the loggerhead.
2008 was a good year for the other sea turtle species
that nest on Florida’s beaches as well. There
were 9,228 green sea turtle nests and 727 leatherback
sea turtle nests across the state. The rare
Kemp’s Ridley and Hawksbill sea turtles also made
a few appearances on Florida beaches. There were
thirteen Kemp’s Ridley and four Hawksbill nests.

First Nest of the Season

This year the honor of the first nest of the season
goes to Captiva. The nest was laid
on the evening of Friday May 8. Sanibel’s first nest
was laid on Sunday May 10. The first nest in Lee County was found
the morning of May 1 on Cayo Costa.

Adopt-A-Nest Challenge

The sea turtle program is issuing a challenge!
Last year, the program received 43 nest adoptions.
We want to reach 100 adoptions this year!

A-Dopt-A-Nest form and information.

1 comment:

Melli said...

I don't know why I've never been to this blog before! This is gOOd stuff here! Are the people in those houses people who LIVE there? Or are they tourists? Tourists are never going to pay any attention to the local wildlife... all they see is BEACHES! (and of course, it's an "all about me" world...) So the lights scare the turtles away huh? That is really sad...