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Sea Turtle Directory


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Sea Turtle Nesting Data

Sea Turtle Nesting

Palm Beach County's beaches are some of the most densely nested in the United States. Sea turtles can be found in our waters year round, but in the spring and summer, large numbers of adults congregate off our beaches and along the reefs. Look at these graphs that show the high nesting of loggerhead , green, and leatherback turtles, as compared to the rest of the east coast of the United States.

Nesting on our beaches begins as early as March. Early nesters are usually leatherbacks with the more numerous loggerheads arriving in significant numbers in May. Nesting continues into August and tapers off in early September. The female sea turtle crawls ashore at night to dig a nest, deposit her eggs, cover the nest and return to the water. While on the beach, sea turtles are timid and vulnerable and can be easily frightened away if disturbed. It takes between one to three hours for the female turtle to lay her approximately 110 ping pong ball-sized eggs.

A number of researchers, volunteer groups and agencies monitor sea turtle nesting in Palm Beach County. These surveys are conducted during nesting season by trained staff/volunteers permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Nests are identified to species by the turtle's tracks and size/shape of the nest.

Palm Beach County sea turtle nesting data by year:
1998; 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; and 2012.

Palm Beach County sea turtle nesting densities from 2003 - 2012.

ERM coordinates the collection of sea turtle nesting data from beaches when the County has an active shoreline protection project, including Jupiter/Carlin, Juno Beach, Singer Island, and Ocean Ridge.

Yearly reports summarizing the effects of Palm Beach County Shoreline Protection projects on sea turtles are also available.

Other organizations/individuals in Palm Beach County that monitor the beach include: