Perdido Key’s first loggerhead nest discovered on June 10
The season’s first sea turtle nest on Perdido Key, the second of two loggerhead currently on Escambia County-patrolled beaches, was discovered on June 10. Heavy surf from Tropical Storm Cristobal washed away two nests on Pensacola Beach earlier in June.
Four species of sea turtle nest on Escambia County beaches May through October. Loggerheads are the most common nesters; however, greens, leatherbacks and the rare Kemp’s Ridley have also been recorded nesting on area beaches. Once the eggs are laid, they will incubate for around 60 days, after which hatchlings emerge under the cover of darkness and make their way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Sea turtles of all sizes face many threats. Excessive artificial lights can disorient both nesting and hatchling turtles, leading them away from the Gulf of Mexico and into danger. Furniture and other personal belongings left on the beach overnight can trap and injure turtles. Plastic pollution and other debris can entangle turtles and cause sickness when accidentally eaten.
Female turtles prefer dark, quiet beaches for nesting and hatchlings need dark skies to find the Gulf of Mexico. Leave the flashlights and cell phones at home or use a red flashlight when on the beach at night. Turn off beach-facing lights and close windows and curtains to keep our beaches dark.