Sea turtle nesting season ends with fourth-highest count in 39 years, Mote Marine Laboratory researchers report

3,716 nests found, including 80 laid by green turtles

A green sea turtle is shown on a nesting beach. Photo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, via Mote Marine

“On Oct. 31, sea turtle nesting season ended strong on beaches from Longboat Key through Venice,” Mote Marine Laboratory has reported.

Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program documented the fourth-highest annual nest count in the past 39 years, Mote noted in its most recent newsletter.

This year’s total of 3,716 local nests included 3,636 laid by loggerhead sea turtles and 80 laid by green sea turtles, “both of which are threatened species,” Mote pointed out. “Greens laid their second-highest number of local nests in 39 years.”

The first nest was discovered on the county shoreline on April 20, Mote reported in the spring.

The most recent data available on Mote’s website — for the period of Oct. 4-10 — shows that Casey Key had the biggest number of nests at that time: 1,515. Longboat Key was in second place then, with 1,136. Venice’s total was 478, followed by Siesta Key, with 447. Lido was in last place, with 138.

In 2019, Mote staff and volunteers counted a total of 5,108 nests.

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