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Titusville Sea Turtle Festival

Titusville Sea Turtle Festival
Sea Turtle Conservation Programs

Loggerhead Green Leatherback Kemps Ridley


2017 is the 34th year of the nest screening program at Canaveral National Seashore (CANA) and has included well over 30,000 volunteer hours. It is the only program of this scope in the entire National Park Service. The program would not be possible without volunteer help.
Thank you all.

2017 Sea Turtle Nest Counts (6/30/2017)

Loggerhead: Apollo ( 1001 ) ........Playalinda (1349 )
Green Turtle: Apollo ( 140 ) .........Playalinda ( 319 )
Leatherback: Apollo ( 7 ) .........Playalinda ( 15 )
Kemps Ridley: Apollo ( 0 ) .......Playalinda ( 0 )
Total nest counts: 2831

Nest counts for the the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge through May 19, 2017:
Loggerheads - 1,274, Green - 0, Leatherbacks - 16, Kemp's Ridley - 0.

Canaveral National Seashore Sea Turtle Nest Totals 1984-2016

Year Loggerhead Green Leatherback Kemp's
Ridley
Unknown Total
2016 3,027 159 4 0 0 5,345
2015 3,905 3531 34 0 0 7,470
2014 3,322 405 20 0 0 3,747
2013 3,758 4,152 23 0 0 7,933
2012 5154 816 27 1 0 5998
2011 3742 1374 24 0 0 5140
2010 4250 1343 26 0 0 5619
2009 2729 301 26 0 0 3056
2008 3637 899 5 2 0 4543
2007 2356 1249 21 0 0 3627
2006 2470 396 1 1 0 2868
2005 2547 1040 13 0 0 3600
2004 2281 255 6 0 0 2542
2003 3229 74 16 1 0 3320
2002 3161 856 8 0 0 4025
2001 3257 7 10 0 0 3274
2000 3892 662 9 0 0 4563
1999 4501 5 9 0 0 4515
1998 3976 427 5 0 0 4408
1997 2702 21 4 0 0 2727
1996 3260 222 3 0 0 3485
1995 4121 47 1 0 0 4169
1994 3886 364 2 0 0 4252
1993 3140 28 0 0 0 3168
1992 3279 298 0 0 0 3577
1991 4074 25 1 0 0 4100
1990 3922 185 1 0 0 4108
1989 3091 41 1 0 0 3133
1988 2203 43 0 0 4 2250
1987 1670 90 1 0 15 1776
1986 3349 22 3 0 0 3374
1985 2389 94 0 0 25 2508
1984 * * * * * 2125

SEA TURTLE FACTS:

Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their legs and head into their shells.
Turtles do not have teeth, but the jaws are shaped to provide crushing, biting or tearing surfaces appropriate for their diet.
Like all reptiles, sea turtles lack external ears and the eardrum is covered with skin.
Growth rates vary, but most sea turtle species mature slowly and all have a long life span.
Temperatures of the sand where the turtles nest determine the sex of the turtle: below 85 degrees Fahrenheit is predominately male; above 85 degrees Fahrenheit is predominately female.
Sea turtles also have a special adaptation process wherein they extract water from the food they intake and by metabolizing saltwater; as such they can survive in the ocean without the requirement of freshwater or a freshwater source.
In addition to solving the problems of swimming and breathing, sea turtles have also come up with an ingenious way to rid their bodies of the salts they accumulate from the saltwater in which they live. Just behind each eye is a salt gland. The salt glands help sea turtles to maintain a healthy water balance by shedding large "tears" of excess salt. If a sea turtle appears to be "crying" it is usually not cause for alarm, as the turtles are merely keeping their physiology in check.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The ocean's deadliest predator - plastic
Take all the items you brought to the beach with you when you go.
Do not leave litter on the beach which may disorient nesting females as they crawl out of the ocean.
Fill in any holes you may have dug on the beach which may trap nesting turtles and hatchlings.
If you see a turtle on the beach - do not touch or disturb the turtle.
Turn off all lights at night on the beach - it's the law.
Do not take flash photos of turtles.
Never throw trash into the water.
Volunteer for beach cleanups.
Participate in organized turtle watches.
Never buy products made from endangered species.
Say NO! to plastic. Use recyclable shopping bags and drinking bottles. The ocean is littered with 47,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
Pick up discarded fishing line - it takes 600 years to bio-degrade.
Buy a Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate for your vehicle. Revenue from the sale of sea turtle license plates goes to support sea turtle research, conservation and education in Florida.
If you find an injured or dead turtle in Florida, call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement at (1-888-404-FWCC).

Artificial Lighting: A THREAT TO SEA TURTLES

Nesting turtles depend on dark, quite beaches to reproduce successfully. Today, these turtles are endangered, in part, because they must compete with tourists, businesses and coastal residents to use the beach. This man-made, coastal development results in artificial lighting on the beach that discourages female sea turtles from nesting. Instead, turtles will choose a less-than-optimal nesting spot, which affects the chances of producing a successful nest. Also, near-shore lighting can cause sea turtle hatchlings to become disoriented when they are born. Instead, they will wander inland where they often die of dehydration, predation, or even from being run over on busy coastal streets.

Solutions:
Reducing the amount of artificial light that is visible from nesting beaches is the first step to reducing light pollution that affects sea turtles. Coastal communities around the world have passed ordinances that require residents turn off beachfront lights during turtle nesting season. Unfortunately, these ordinances are not always enforced and don't address the larger problem of sky glow that occurs near cities.

Turn off lights visible on nesting beaches or use special fixtures to shield the lights from the beach;
Use low-pressure sodium-vapor lighting (LPS) instead of normal lights;
Use Turtle Safe Lighting - these red lights emit a very narrow portion of the visible light spectrum, which is less intrusive to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings;
If disoriented hatchlings are found away from the sea, call local law enforcement;
Tint windows that face the beach;
Close opaque curtains or blinds after dark to cover windows visible from the beach.



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