Whew…what a season! This summer, we had a near record number of nests, early nesters (our first nest was laid April 20…more than a week before the official start of the west coast nesting season), two daytime nesters, and two tropical storms. The Islands have not had this many nests since 2008 and before that 2000! Sanibel finished out the 2012 nesting season with 314 loggerhead nests, one green turtle nest, and 661 false crawls (all loggerhead). Captiva had a total of 117 nests and 170 false crawls, all were from loggerhead turtles.
|Loggerhead hatchling headed to the Gulf. Photo by: A. Bryant|
Hatch success was not nearly as good as we would have hoped after having so many nests laid, but that was due mainly to Tropical Storms Debby and Isaac. Sanibel and Captiva had 103 and 36 nests hatch, respectively, with over 9,000 hatchlings reaching the Gulf.