Turtle Season?

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by prception69, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. prception69

    prception69 Beach Comber

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    I read somewhere on the board that it's turtle season in Sowal. Can someone please explain this?
     
  2. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    http://www.beachtobay.org/html/turtle_watch.html

    Sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 through October 31. The first sea turtle nest in Walton County is usually found the third week in May. We find these nests by walking the beach early in the morning and looking for tracks left by the female when she comes ashore to nest. The tracks look like large tractor tracks that begin and end at the water line.
    We also monitor the nests after they have been laid. Once a nest hatches it is excavated in 72 hours and any hatchlings left in the nest are released to the open sea. Empty egg shells are counted, and all conditions of the nest cavity are reported to D.E.P.
    The heart and soul of the South Walton Turtle Watch is the tireless dedicated volunteers who walk the beach at dawn looking for tracks of sea turtles who came from the sea during the night to nest. Nests and false crawls, are documented. Turtle Watch volunteers also monitor hatching nests, documenting the success rate.
    South Walton Turtle Watch volunteers now include night walkers, monitoring potential lighting problems that cause lighting disorientation to hatchlings. Disorientation results in many hatchling deaths each year.
    South Walton Turtle Watch needs your help. If you would like to walk the beach, or if you see a sea turtle, or sea turtle tracks, please call Sharon Maxwell at 897-5228, or call the Florida Marine Patrol, at 1-800-342-5367.


    The numbers of turtles on our beaches are dwindling each year. Their protection is the best reason for not leaving holes, tents, chairs, or other items on the beach.

    More info - http://www.graytonbeach.com/turtles.html
     
  3. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Were you hankering for turtle soup? :floor:
     
  4. prception69

    prception69 Beach Comber

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    Are these turtles endangered? Protected? Make a good soup?What's the hubbub bub? From what I have read so far they don't seem to be very bright creatures. Disoriented from light? I will continue to read up on this.
     
  5. prception69

    prception69 Beach Comber

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    [The numbers of turtles on our beaches are dwindling each year. Their protection is the best reason for not leaving holes, tents, chairs, or other items on the beach.

    More info - http://www.graytonbeach.com/turtles.html[/QUOTE]
    Not to leave holes? Doesn't this make it easier for them to nest?
     
  6. alic65

    alic65 Beach Lover

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    it's a delicacy here...yummy :D
     
  7. alic65

    alic65 Beach Lover

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    oh my gosh, i had no idea that light was a bad thing for the nesting turtles...that would explain a few things...
     
  8. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    No. They fall in the holes and either can't get out or get disoriented and head back to the water. They are very particular and follow ages old instincts and locations imprinted at birth. They like to return to the same place as they hatched. They crawl close to the dune line and dig their own nest.
     
  9. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Turtle-safe lights are the way to go
    from the Destin Log

    Sea turtle hatchlings face many perils, but perhaps the biggest threat to the tiny creatures is coastal development, say officials from a local environmental group.

    ?We have seen an increase in sea turtle hatchlings being attracted to artificial beachfront lights as coastal development has increased,? said Sharon Maxwell, program chairman for South Walton Turtle Watch, whose members search for and watch over turtle nests along Walton County?s 26 miles of Gulf -coast beach.

    Newborn loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles are attracted to light emanating from restaurants, homes and condominiums along the coast ? turning the hatchlings in the wrong direction once they are born. That, say officials, makes the turtles easy prey for predators.

    One solution to the problem might lie in neon lights, which emit a pure-red light source not visible to the hatchlings.

    ?Sea turtles see a different spectrum of lights than we do,? Maxwell said.

    With $5,000 in grant money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the turtle watch group has paid for neon lights along the beach walkway at Tops?l Beach Resort.

    The ?salt-proof? lights, the turtle watch group hopes, will eventually be hung near pool areas, walkways and parking lots near the beaches where the turtles bury their eggs. Sea turtles nest along the Florida Panhandle from Franklin to Escambia counties. Green and leatherback turtles are considered endangered; loggerhead turtles are threatened.
     
  10. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    http://www.npca.org/marine_and_coastal/marine_wildlife/seaturtles.asp

    All sea turtle species are listed as endangered except the loggerhead, which is listed as threatened.
     
  11. prception69

    prception69 Beach Comber

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    Do these things know that the Dunes are off limits? Isn't there a law against disturbing the dunes?
     
  12. alic65

    alic65 Beach Lover

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    ok.....now the dunes are off limits too?
     
  13. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Just as plants grow toward the light, if artificial light does not interfear, the hatchlings are attracted to the light of the moon reflecting off the water, which lures them to sea. They are sure to die if they try to go the other way. The most critical time for a hatchling's life is the race from the nest to the open water.

    Turtle flippers were prized for their meat, and probably still are in some parts of the world.

    "What? Am I not Turtle enough for you? :idontno:

    Seriously, you pose a good question. Hope my explanation helps.
     
  14. prception69

    prception69 Beach Comber

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    What if we are under a new moon situation and there isn't moon light? Is he S.O.L.?

    It's a marvelous night for a moon dance.......
     
  15. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    GPS implants. :floor:
     
  16. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    They probably have a clock built into their body, and would not hatch on a new moon. No different than a Sunflower not moving with the Sun when the Sun sets for the day. You guys don't watch the Discovery Channel?
     
  17. alic65

    alic65 Beach Lover

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    that's where i personally thought flashlights would come in handy..
     
  18. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Uh . . . Yeah.
     
  19. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    What?
     
  20. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    If there were no artificial light, you would be able to see the turtle tracks just fine. We are more advanced beings that today's culture and society would lead us to believe.
     

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