Good News for the Green Sea Turtle Population


by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Turtle Nest on Amelia Island

Turtle Nest on Amelia Island

 

Of the seven different types of species of sea turtles, all are in danger of extinction due to an array of problems, both natural and those for which mankind and its’ “progress” must claim responsibility. Unnecessary outdoor lighting and nest disturbance are just a couple of the issues that we ourselves are participating in, causing the depletion of a national treasure. However, there is a touch of good news on the headlines for the Green Sea Turtle today. The odds of the survival of said subpopulation have increased enough to entice the decision-making environmentalist to slightly downgrade the level at which this particular sub-species is considered to be endangered. Archie Carr National Wildlife refuge, located not too far from our Island, is not only the largest and most protected Green sea turtle nest place in Florida. It is responsible for being the largest nesting habitat for these survivors in all of North America. In 2015, a new national record was set for the number of turtles to nest in Archie Carr’s refuge. Researchers counted 14,152 nests by the time the egg-laying season ended in the fall. That surpassed the previous record of 12,846 clutches, set in 2013, and smashed past yearly totals, which ranged from just under 200 nests in 2001 to 6,023 in 2011.

Green Sea TurtleSea Turtle Conservancy, is a group dedicated to educating the public on the real circumstances and the struggle these sea turtle most endure – largely fueled by pure luck – in order to survive and continue the regrowth of the Green sea turtle subpopulation. David Goddfrey, is one of the guides who leads conservation enthusiasts all around nesting sites, observing proper safe distances and leaving the nests undisturbed. On one occasion, they found themselves virtually pinned down by a surrounding slew of nests. This season, the Sea Turtle Conservancy identified and watched over a staggering 14,152 nests. The number of green turtles nesting at Archie Carr has grown steadily since the refuge was established in 1990, said Godfrey. The improvement reflects the joint efforts of conservationists, government, and residents to reduce light pollution and other human effects on the refuge’s beaches, which are also a key nesting habitat for endangered loggerhead turtles, he said. Given that sea turtles lay somewhere between 75 and 100 eggs each nesting, a single season in the area can produce upwards of 3,000,000 hatchlings. Family reunions for those guys must be a logistical nightmare!

With these uplifting numbers of population increase, experts and enthusiasts alike are all too excited to see the Green sea turtle subpopulation be taken off of the endangered species critical rating section. It’s not every day that we help win one for the environment. So, let us here at Amelia River Cruises be the first to extend our warmest thanks and congratulations to our own local over-watchers for the times and effort they put into protected this treasured species!

Keep up the good work friends!

 

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