Sea Turtles on Florida Beaches

 Florida Beaches and Sea Turtles

Loggerhead turtle tracks Florida Beaches loggerhead-sea-turtle_11263_600x450

Many of you who have walked the Florida Beaches such as Boca Raton or even Jupiter may have seen the tracks of the Sea turtles crawling up from the ocean and back to the sea if you take an early morning walk. The sea turtles are either Loggerheads, Leatherbacks or Green turtles. The Loggerheads are most prevalent here in Florida but the Leatherbacks are the largest. The threatened species have been decreasing in population due to fishing and man. We will talk a bit about the Loggerhead turtles with some interesting facts.  They live to be over 50 years of age and reach a size of about 3ft in diameter and weigh about 250lbs. The females don’t begin laying eggs until they are 17 years of age. They lay approximately 112 eggs during their nesting period.

The nesting season in Florida runs about 6 months from March till October and Florida has the largest number of nests in the world with about 67,000 each year along the Florida beaches. The incubation period runs about 80 days and the sand temperature determines the sex of the turtle.  There is  the Marine Life Center in Juno Beach which is  a great place to take kids to see turtles which are being rehabilitated back to health. They also have periodic releases of hatchlings as well as adult turtles back to sea.

Now that you have seen the photo of the turtle tracks on your next morning beach walk take some time and look for the tracks. Some days you will see none and other days you may see a dozen or so. Full moons tend to bring more nesting turtles to the beach. Down here in Boca you will also see wire cages around nests or sticks with ribbons on the nests. The sticks will be marked with the nest date. Volunteers travel the beaches each morning via ATV to look and mark nests. They can also tell what type of turtle by the tracks. You will also see more nests along deserted parts of the beaches where you see less condos such as Red Reek Park or Spanish River Park in Boca.

At night in most cases after the 70 day incubation period you may get lucky and see the baby turtles coming up out of the sand and heading to sea. I did catch this once and it looked like hundreds of bugs racing to the sea. It is truly an amazing experience.

Condo owners during nesting season have to limit their lights and require special bulbs outside and require that you cover your windows at night to reduce artificial light. The condo communities take this very seriously. Living in an oceanfront condo in Boca Raton may give you the opportunity to see either the nesting turtles at night or possibly even seeing the hatchlings emerge from the sand. You have a much better chance to see the nesting females but please do not bother them.

This is just one attraction you will find with living on the beach in a condo here in Florida. Feel free to call us or search our website for that perfect oceanfront condo and start enjoying the turtle nesting season on your morning beach walks.