Alberto may have affected some turtle nests

Posted at 5:15 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 13:42:23-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - As sea-turtle nesting season reaches its peak, the number of reptiles laying eggs on Florida beaches continues to trend upward.

But officials say Subtropical Storm Alberto washed away some nests and flooded others across the state this week, which makes it unlikely any of those eggs will survive.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Robbin Trindell said natural occurrences like Alberto make it even more important for residents and guests to help protect turtles.

“We need to really help as much as we can,” Trindell said. “Sea turtles have always faced many, many dangers out in their oceanic environment. We need to make sure that we’re not adding to those struggles.”

2017 was a record nesting year for green sea turtles, while loggerhead numbers remained fairly steady. This year has also started off strong, according to Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists.

Trindell said people should stay away from the animals and make sure that all beaches stay dark and clear of obstructions during the summer months.

One bit of concern for biologists is that the number of leatherback nests continues to decline, reaching the lowest level since 2006. Experts are not sure whether the decline is from natural fluctuation or something else that would warrant concern.