Titusville Sea Turtle Festival
WEDNESDAY, May 15th – 9:00am — "TURTLE WATCH RESERVATIONS OPEN FOR JULY 2019"
Journey with a National Park Ranger and visit the undisturbed beaches of Canaveral National Seashore to watch a loggerhead sea turtle nesting. Turtle Watch Programs give park visitors an opportunity to learn about sea turtles and the role that the National Park Service plays in their conservation. The program will take place at Apollo Beach and Playalinda Beach. The fee for this program is $14.00 per person, ages 16 and above. Ages 15 and under will be free. Children must be 8 years old or older to participate. This program takes place on most Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED and SPACE IS LIMITED. To make a reservation for June/July, please call (386) 428-3384 Ext 223.
2019 is the 36th year of the nest screening program at Canaveral National Seashore (CANA) and has included well over 30,000 volunteer hours. It is the only program of this scope in the entire National Park Service. The program would not be possible without volunteer help.
Thank you all.
2019 Sea Turtle Nest CountsLoggerhead: Apollo ( 1,172 ) ........Playalinda ( 1,418 )
Canaveral National Seashore: 6/21/2019
Green Turtle: Apollo ( 185 ) .........Playalinda ( 377 )
Leatherback: Apollo ( 10 ) .........Playalinda ( 18 )
Kemps Ridley: Apollo ( 0 ) .......Playalinda ( 0 )
Total nest counts: 3,180
Archie Carr NWR (Brevard County): 6/15/19Loggerhead: 4,914
Green Turtle: 1,100
Kemps Ridley: 1
Total nest counts: 6,065
KSC Secure Area: 9/30/2018Loggerhead: 1,149
Green Turtle: 51
Kemps Ridley: 0
Total nest counts: 1,203
Canaveral National Seashore Sea Turtle Nest Totals 1984-2018
Year Loggerhead Green Leatherback Kemp's
Unknown Total 2018 4,223 297 15 0 0 4,535 2017 4,556 7,736 23 0 0 12,315 2016 3,027 159 4 0 0 5,345 2015 3,905 3531 34 0 0 7,470 2014 3,322 405 20 0 0 3,747 2013 3,758 4,152 23 0 0 7,933 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
SEA TURTLE FACTS:
- Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their legs and head into their shells.
- Turtles do not have teeth, but the jaws are shaped to provide crushing, biting or tearing surfaces appropriate for their diet.
- Like all reptiles, sea turtles lack external ears and the eardrum is covered with skin.
- Growth rates vary, but most sea turtle species mature slowly and all have a long life span.
- Temperatures of the sand where the turtles nest determine the sex of the turtle: below 85 degrees Fahrenheit is predominately male; above 85 degrees Fahrenheit is predominately female.
- Sea turtles also have a special adaptation process wherein they extract water from the food they intake and by metabolizing saltwater; as such they can survive in the ocean without the requirement of freshwater or a freshwater source.
- In addition to solving the problems of swimming and breathing, sea turtles have also come up with an ingenious way to rid their bodies of the salts they accumulate from the saltwater in which they live. Just behind each eye is a salt gland. The salt glands help sea turtles to maintain a healthy water balance by shedding large "tears" of excess salt. If a sea turtle appears to be "crying" it is usually not cause for alarm, as the turtles are merely keeping their physiology in check.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Take all the items you brought to the beach with you when you go.
- Do not leave litter on the beach which may disorient nesting females as they crawl out of the ocean.
- Fill in any holes you may have dug on the beach which may trap nesting turtles and hatchlings.
- If you see a turtle on the beach - do not touch or disturb the turtle.
- Turn off all lights at night on the beach - it's the law.
- Do not take flash photos of turtles.
- Never throw trash into the water.
- Volunteer for beach cleanups.
- Participate in organized turtle watches.
- Never buy products made from endangered species.
- Say NO! to plastic. Use recyclable shopping bags and drinking bottles. The ocean is littered with 47,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
- Pick up discarded fishing line - it takes 600 years to bio-degrade.
- Buy a Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate for your vehicle. Revenue from the sale of sea turtle license plates goes to support sea turtle research, conservation and education in Florida.
- If you find an injured or dead turtle in Florida, call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement at (1-888-404-FWCC).
Artificial Lighting: A THREAT TO SEA TURTLESNesting turtles depend on dark, quite beaches to reproduce successfully. Today, these turtles are endangered, in part, because they must compete with tourists, businesses and coastal residents to use the beach. This man-made, coastal development results in artificial lighting on the beach that discourages female sea turtles from nesting. Instead, turtles will choose a less-than-optimal nesting spot, which affects the chances of producing a successful nest. Also, near-shore lighting can cause sea turtle hatchlings to become disoriented when they are born. Instead, they will wander inland where they often die of dehydration, predation, or even from being run over on busy coastal streets.
Reducing the amount of artificial light that is visible from nesting beaches is the first step to reducing light pollution that affects sea turtles. Coastal communities around the world have passed ordinances that require residents turn off beachfront lights during turtle nesting season. Unfortunately, these ordinances are not always enforced and don't address the larger problem of sky glow that occurs near cities.
- Turn off lights visible on nesting beaches or use special fixtures to shield the lights from the beach;
- Use low-pressure sodium-vapor lighting (LPS) instead of normal lights;
- Use Turtle Safe Lighting - these red lights emit a very narrow portion of the visible light spectrum, which is less intrusive to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings;
- If disoriented hatchlings are found away from the sea, call local law enforcement;
- Tint windows that face the beach;
- Close opaque curtains or blinds after dark to cover windows visible from the beach.
Threats from Invasive Species PredationAround the globe, sea turtles and their hatchlings fall victim to natural predators. Crabs, raccoons, boars, birds, coyotes and sharks all play their role in the natural food chain as sea turtle predators. However, the threats of predation increase when human development reaches nesting beaches. People who leave trash near the shore, for example, unwittingly call raccoons and other non-native species to the beaches to look for food.
Nest predation can be a very serious threat. In certain "predation hot spots" on nesting beaches in the United States predation can exceed 50% of all nests laid.
Sea Turtles are not fast enough, or agile enough to escape predators. Unable to retract their heads and flippers into their shell, like land tortoises, sea turtles are very vulnerable to these invasive predators.
Friends of Canaveral Newsletter, August, 2018
- Don't feed wildlife animals will make a habit of returning to coastal areas in search for food, creating a threat to turtles;
- Don't leave your dogs and cats unattended;
- Do not leave any trash, especially garbage containing food, outside of your home;
- Support spay and neuter programs near coastal areas to decrease feral invasive species predation;
- Contact your local law enforcement if you witness any predation on sea turtle nests or hatchlings.
SEA TURTLE CLASSIFICATIONSCritically Endangered: Species is considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
Endangered: Species is considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
- Kemp's Ridleys
Vulnerable: Species is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
Data Deficient: Species that cannot be evaluated because of insufficient information.
- Olive Ridleys
From the Friends of Canaveral Newsletter - June 1, 2018
Share the beach with Nesting Shorebirds