If you're down at the beach in Panama City Beach, Fl this time of year you may be lucky enough to see cautionary tape strewn about the beach.
It's not there because of a crime (although some may see it as one), nor is it there to section off a concert for left over Spring Breakers.
Nope, the tape is there because last year, officials counted 47 loggerhead turtle nests and four leatherback turtle nests, which is the best count on record and the capstone on an upward trend for the two endangered species!
Turtle nesting season lasts through October, so if this excites you as much as many in the area come on down and watch. But PLEASE be mindful:
There are 3 golden rules of turtle watching
- Don’t touch. As tempting as it is, don’t touch the turtle or the nest. Disturbing the turtle could cause it stop nesting.
- No lights. Lights are very confusing for a sea turtle. The light of the moon is what guides them back to the ocean, so introducing a non-natural light can cause them to go in the wrong direction.
- Call the FWC. If you see a nesting turtles, call the Florida Wildlife Commission at 888-402-3922. A trained volunteer will come and make sure the nest is properly marked or move it if it’s too close to the water
More information about this year’s nests and when they are expected to hatch is available at turtlewatch.org. The program is sponsored by the Tourist Development Council.
You can read more about this story in the News Herald
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