April 15th marks the start of turtle nesting season here in the Florida Keys, and it runs all the way through October 31st.While these little hatchlings are quite cute and an amazing sight to see, they are quite delicate and do not have a huge survival rate. There are already so many natural obstacles that they have to contend with such as predators or becoming tangled up in seaweed. So the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation is asking for our help to eliminate some of the man made threats that we have created for these little guys.
Sea turtles become disoriented by lights. The little hatchlings go towards the lights and unwittingly happen upon busy reads where they meet an early demise. So the FWC are asking for everyone’s help to protect these creatures. Anyone with an oceanfront home or business is asked to turn off their lights or shield them to prevent disorientation. If having lights on is a necessity for you though, studies have shown that turtles are not as attracted to red and amber lights.
Another man made problem that endangers seas turtles are, believe it or not, is beach furniture. The hatchlings and their mothers can easily become trapped underneath and die from dehydration. So, make sure to pick up any beach furniture and put it away each evening before you head in.
What else can you do to help a sea turtle? Call Florida Fish and Wildlife if you see a dead or distressed animal. The number is 888-404-FWCC or you can dial *FWC or #FWC from your cell phone. You can also call the Turtle Hospital in Marathon if you cannot get through to the FWC.