FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - It's sea turtle nesting season in Florida.
The season began Thursday and extends through August, but wildlife officials say the hatchlings can emerge as late as October.
The News Press of Fort Myers reports biologists and groups monitoring the turtles are hoping for high numbers this year. They'd like to see more than 2,000 nests in Lee and Collier counties in southwest Florida.
Last year, Lee County beaches were home to 680 turtle nests, while Collier County beaches had 1,075 nests.
Collier County environmentalist Maura Kraus says the area went through a 10 year decline, but nesting has picked up over the past two seasons.
Officials say loggerheads are the most common sea turtles that nest in Florida.