But did you know, one of the biggest fans of our beaches happens to be the loggerhead turtle? Every year from late spring to early summer, loggerheads make their reservations on our sandy shores and determine which slice of paradise is just right for them. According to the National Wildlife Refuge, once a mother turtle finds her perfect spot she’ll lay anywhere from 100-120 eggs. Once the eggs hatch, hatchlings will make their way toward the sea crawling across the sand as quickly as possible.
Groups like Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation do everything possible to make sure these little turtles have the best chance at life. From monitoring nests, setting up boundaries around the nests from predators and shielding them from hazardous weather, SCCF and its volunteers work around the clock this time of year.
Did you know you can help, too? According to the SCCF, here are five helpful pointers guests can do to ensure our beaches stay turtle friendly:
- · Turn off any lights that might be visible from the beach. Turtles can mistake lights for the moon and head inland instead of out to sea.
- · Leave all nests alone and don’t touch any screenings that might be covering them. The screens are there to prevent predators from eating the eggs.
- · No paparazzi! Turtles don’t like to have their pictures taken nor do they like to be approached when nesting. Please leave them be.
- · Remove all beach furniture when leaving for the day and fill all holes that might have been created.
- · As always, pick up any litter you might find and clear all gear.
We can all do our part to keep our beaches safe and clean for all guests to enjoy! Check out more tips from SCCF by visiting their site here.