Sea turtle conservation in BISC

mesh screen over loggerhead sea turtle nest
This mesh screen has been secured over a loggerhead sea turtle nest to prevent the eggs in the nest from being predated

NPS

Sea Turtle Conservation Efforts in 2010 began with habitat restoration activities. Many college students, as part of the Alternative Break program, volunteered their time and energy to restoring Biscayne's sea turtle nesting habitat. Over 100 students representing more than ten colleges and universities participated in beach clean-up activities. Work involved the manual removal of hundreds of pounds of trash, ranging from smaller items such as bottle caps and glass and plastic bottles, to larger items, such as shipping pallets and boating line. If allowed to remain and accumulate over time, this debris makes it almost impossible for sea turtles, whose bodies are adapted for their primarily marine existence, to access and traverse the beaches. Biscayne National Park extends an extra special thanks to all of the hard-working students who dedicated their winter or spring break to restoring sea turtle nesting beach habitats!

In 2010, Biscayne National Park managers added three additional beaches to their survey schedule, making a total of eight beaches that are consistently monitored. It is hoped that this increased coverage will lead to the discovery and protection of more nests. Monitoring began in the beginning of May and has been completed by park staff, student interns, and several helpful volunteers. Below is a summary of 2010's sea turtle nesting season activity to date. All nesting activity is presumed to be from loggerhead turtles.

Type of activity

Number of cases

Nest or suspected nest (protected from predation by mesh screen)

9

False Crawl (nesting attempt failed due to vegetation, debris, predator, or other interruption)

24

Predated nest (fully or partially predated before nest was protected with a mesh screen)

5


Not including those nests that were subject to total predation, nesting success of nests in 2010 has been relatively lower than in past years, with hatching success ranging between 0% and 66%. In many cases, the eggs in the nest failed to fully develop, with the reason for the failure to develop not being immediately obvious. In other cases, nest failure was attributed to the nest of developing eggs being flooded by extreme high tides.


Click here to return to the Sea Turtle Main Page, or click on one of the links below to learn more about sea turtles:

 
trash on beach
Dedicated volunteers and park staff removed wooden, plastic, glass, and other types of debris from the sea turtle nesting beaches prior to the onset of the nesting season.

NPS

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Sir Lancelot Jones Way

Homestead, FL 33033

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