Sea Turtle Monitoring

Hatchling turtle
Loggerhead hatchling leaving the nest for the ocean.

NPS/Photo Millar MTP 19-005

2022 Sea Turtle Nest Counts

• Loggerhead (Caretta caretta):
Apollo ( 2,972 ) .......... Playalinda ( 3,216 )
• Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas):
Apollo ( 2,605 ) .......... Playalinda ( 3,646 )
• Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea):
Apollo ( 8 ) .......... Playalinda ( 19 )
• Kemps Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii):
Apollo ( 0 ) .......... Playalinda ( 1 )
Total Sea Turtle Nest Counts: 12,487

 
leatherback nesting
Leatherback sea turtle nesting during the day.

NPS/Photo MTP 19-005

Five of the Canaveral's federally listed endangered or threatened species are marine turtles.

  1. Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) Threatened
  2. Green (Chelonia mydas) Threatened
  3. Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Endangered
  4. Kemp’s Ridley (Lepiochelys kempii) Endangered
  5. Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) Endangered


The Loggerhead and Green turtles are most prevalent, while the Leatherback is found consistently, but in much lower numbers. Kemp’s Ridley and Hawsbill Turtles have been documented, though rarely, on Canaveral National Seashore's beaches.

Canaveral National Seashore has been recording sea turtle nesting on park beaches since 1985. Sea turtles are observed nesting in the park from April through October. The nesting season for the Leatherback is generally between April and June, the earliest and shortest nesting season. Loggerheads are primarily observed nesting in the park from May through August, while Greens are recorded slightly later, from June through September. As in the past three years, Green sea turtle nesting extended into October in 2013. The peak of the nesting season generally occurs between late June and early July when over 100 nests may be deposited on Canaveral National Seashore’s beaches each night.

 

Sea Turtle Nest Totals 1984 - 2021



Year Loggerhead Green Leatherback Kemp's Unknown Total
2021 3708 4303 31 2 0 8,044
2020 4187 367 26 5 0 7,888
2019 5646 7629 33 0 0 13,308
2018 4223 301 15 0 0 4539
2017 4556 7736 23 0 0 12,315
2016 5057 381 9 0 0 5437
2015 3905 3571 34 0 0 7510
2014 3322 420 20 0 0 3767
2013 3758 4152 23 0 0 5140
2012 5154 816 27 1 0 5998
2011 3742 1374 24 0 0 5140
2010 4250 1343 26 0 0 5619
2009 2729 301 26 0 0 3056
2008 3637 899 5 2 0 4543
2007 2356 1249 21 0 0 3627
2006 2470 396 1 1 0 2868
2005 2547 1040 13 0 0 3600
2004 2281 255 6 0 0 2542
2003 3229 74 16 1 0 3320
2002 3161 856 8 0 0 4025
2001 3257 7 10 0 0 3274
2000 3892 662 9 0 0 4563
1999 4501 5 9 0 0 4515
1998 3976 427 5 0 0 4408
1997 2702 21 4 0 0 2727
1996 3260 222 3 0 0 3485
1995 4121 47 1 0 0 4169
1994 3886 364 2 0 0 4252
1993 3140 28 0 0 0 3168
1992 3279 298 0 0 0 3577
1991 4074 25 1 0 0 4100
1990 3922 185 1 0 0 4108
1989 3091 41 1 0 0 3133
1988 2203 43 0 0 4 2250
1987 1670 90 1 0 15 1776
1986 3349 22 3 0 0 3374
1985 2389 94 0 0 25 2508
1984 * * * * * 2125

* Individual breakdown not available

Taken from yearly Sea Turtle Nesting Summaries, 1984-2019 Canaveral National Seashore, Titusville, Florida



The State of Florida manages sea turtle nests throughout the state by collecting annual data on participating beaches. Canaveral National Seashore participates in both an Index Nesting Beach Survey (INBS) and the Statewide Nesting Beach Survey (SNBS). For more information on these programs visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

 

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Loggerhead hatchlings crawl to the ocean on Playalinda Beach before sunset in July of 2022.

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Canaveral National Seashore, Apollo Visitor Center
7611 S Atlantic Ave

New Smyrna Beach , FL 32169

Phone:

386 428-3384 x0

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