2022 Sea Turtle Nesting Season on Sanibel Island
2022 Sea Turtle Nesting Season officially began April and we already have our first nest on the island! According to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), we had our first nest of 2021 on the same date last year.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season occurs every year from April 15 – October 31. Beginning in early April, staff and volunteers from SCCF begin making their daily rounds to check for signs of sea turtles. The teams record both nests and false crawls. Nests are marked, tagged, reported, and protected from predators. False crawls, when a turtle makes their way up the beach but ultimately does not lay a nest, are recorded. In recent years, the total nest count for Sanibel and Captiva Islands has been over 800! Loggerheads and Green Turtles are the primary species we see on the islands, with the loggerheads being far more prominent.
In order to keep our beaches safe and these amazing turtles coming back, we have rules on the island-specific to sea turtle nesting season.
- Turn off or shield all lights that are visible from the beach. Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
- Do not disturb the screens covering nests. They prevent predators from eating the eggs and the hatchlings emerge through the holes without assistance.
- Remove all beach furniture and equipment from the beach at night.
- Dispose of fishing line properly to avoid wildlife entanglement.
- Fill in large holes that can trap hatchlings and nesting sea turtles.
- Do not disturb nesting turtles – please do not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles.
- Pick up litter.
We are looking forward to following along with SCCF as they continue to document nests all around the island. If we get lucky, we may even have a few right in our own backyard!