Turtle nesting season is underway, and Florida wildlife officials are urging the public to be cautious of the sea creatures during this crucial time.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Bekah Nelson says clearing away beach furniture, not shining lights, or taking photos of the turtles from a distance are just some ways to help.
“Everybody of course wants to see them because it’s such an awesome thing to see sea turtles and their hatchlings, but keep a distance from the nest—whether the eggs are visible or not—and keep a distance from the hatchlings,” she said.
Nelson says in fact, just making people more aware has actually helped certain turtle species.
“Part of a distinct subpopulation that scientists were concerned was in decline and that was the loggerhead turtles, but nest numbers from 2015 show that there were 1,499 loggerhead turtle nests documented in the Gulf Coast counties,” she added.
Those areas include Franklin, Gulf, Bay, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. The season started Sunday and ends October 31st.
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