Seeing a sea turtle lay her eggs or seeing one of the nests come to life with hatchlings can be one of the most memorable experiences you can have on Cape San Blas!
During the early part of the season, you may be lucky enough to see one of the huge, beautiful turtles come in and lay her eggs. You can walk the beach with the Turtle Patrol to learn about these ancient creatures and their struggle for survival.
In 2017 St. Joseph Peninsula had a total of 206 nests and 2011 were Loggerhead nests. Loggerhead Turtles are an endangered species! These nest produced 14,071 eggs and 8,982 hatchlings.
During nesting season the Turtle Patrol is out every day looking for tracks or a “crawl” of the adult turtle coming from the water. The Turtle Patrol will take a variety of measurements, then cover the nest with a metal screen to deter predators. Then they mark all nests with wood stakes and yellow tape, so you will likely see many of these on your long walks on Cape San Blas. Never touch a sea turtle nest…only PERMITTED TURTLE PATROL volunteers are permitted to do this.
Sea Turtles and their hatchlings are very vulnerable when they are on the beach.
How can YOU help the turtles survive?
Remove all your items from the beach each night so these mom’s get to their spot to nest!
After a day of making sand castles and digging holes on the beach, fill them in and knock down the sand sculptures before going in! You don’t want one of the large turtles to get stuck in your hole and the moms or hatchlings to have more obstacles than they already face to get to the water when they hatch.
Use turtle safe flashlights on the beach at night! It is especially important to leave your cell phone flashlights and other flashlights OFF especially if you see a mom laying her eggs or turtle hatching!
Sheild interior lighting and turn off exterior lights at night. Sea turtles go toward the light by instinct and light on land can be very disorienting for them.
Don’t touch turtles of their hatchlings…ever and don’t let your pet near a nest or a turtle.
Email the St. Joseph Peninsula Turtle Patrol at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions at all!
During hatching season, the nests are checked daily for signs of hatching. Three days after a nest has hatched, the volunteers evacuate the nests to collect data on the contents and determine if the hatch was successful.
Cape Escape Vacation Rentals can help get you to Cape San Blas!
To learn more about the sea turtles by following the Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center on Facebook!