Turtle nesting breaks record midway through season
Just two months into sea turtle nesting season, Mote Marine Laboratory scientists are happy to announce a record-breaking number of nests along Mote-monitored beaches from Longboat Key through Venice. The first nests of the season are also starting to hatch.
“We are excited to announce that we have broken the 35-year annual record for sea turtle nests along our area’s beaches with a total of 2,638 confirmed nests so far and we are only halfway through the nesting season,” said Kristen Mazzarella, senior biologist with Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program.
Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol — a group of scientists, interns and volunteers who monitor local nesting beaches daily from May 1-Oct. 31 — report that this year's 2,638 nests have already surpassed the previous record, the entire season total from 2015, by 163 nests.
Longboat Key broke its record of 698 nests on Thursday, June 30 with 716 nests and Casey Key broke its record of 1,174 nests on Saturday, July 2 with 1,184 nests. Lido Beach (record of 98 nests in 2014) and Venice (record of 424 in 2012) aren't far behind their past local records. So far there have been 86 nests documented in Lido Beach and 383 nests in Venice.
The first nest to hatch on Mote-monitored beaches was found Sunday, June 26 on Venice Beach.