Hurricane exposes and washes away thousands of sea turtle nestsLeave a Comment
- Hurricane Irma storm surge takes heavy toll on one of world’s most important nesting areas in Florida but some still nesting
October 4, 2017 University of Central Florida read full ScienceDaily article here
Marine biologists have released estimates of sea turtle nests lost to Hurricane Irma, finding that 56 percent of green turtle nests and 24 percent of loggerhead nests were lost within Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Both are endangered species. The losses put a damper on what had been a record year for green turtle nesting….
….The UCF Marine Turtle Research Group also found evidence that some green turtle hatchlings have emerged since the hurricane. And some turtles have continued to come ashore and lay new nests. Within the wildlife refuge, 466 new green turtle nests and eight new loggerhead nests were laid in September following Irma. Along the other UCF-monitored beaches, 72 new green nests and three new loggerhead nests were laid…
…Researchers found significant dune erosion that swept away some nests and exposed the eggs of others. It was a record year for green turtle nesting along the refuge’s beaches in southern Brevard County, but storm surge due to hurricane Irma destroyed many unhatched loggerhead and green turtle nests. University of Central Florida researchers estimate that of nests laid through the end of September, more than half of the season’s green turtle nests and a quarter of loggerhead nests were lost.
Both species are listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and Florida hosts the majority of both species’ U.S. nests. The section of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge monitored by UCF hosts about a third of the Florida’s green turtle nests….