Species Focus: Loggerhead Sea Turtles
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Why does Biscayne National Park focus on the loggerhead?
Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) are the most common sea turtles observed swimming in the park's waters and nesting on the park's beaches, and almost all nests observed in the park are from loggerheads. In the U.S. loggerheads are currently classified under the Endangered Species Act as "threatened" (bad!), but their status could even be elevated to "endangered" (worse!).
There are several reasons why loggerhead populations have declined in recent years. Primary threats include habitat loss (as increasing human populations encroach upon critical nesting habitat), nest predation by natural predators such as the raccoon, mortality from boat collisions and entanglement in fishing and boating gear, and failure of hatchlings to make it to sea due to light interference (lights along the coast confuse the hatchlings, which normally rely on the reflection of the moon on the water to guide them to the sea).
Click here to return to the Sea Turtle Main Page, or click on one of the links below to learn more about sea turtles:
Did You Know?
In 2001, scientists taking a plant inventory in Biscayne National Park discovered a population of semaphore pricklypear cactus, one of the world's rarest plants. Previously known as only 9 plants in the lower Florida Keys, the new population numbered 570 plants...over 60 times the previous count.