First Sea Turtles Of The Year Hatch On Pensacola Beach – NorthEscambia.com

Pensacola Beach saw its first sea turtle hatch of the season Sunday night. Approximately 129 loggerhead hatchlings emerged on the county-patrolled portion of Pensacola Beach and made their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea turtles nest May through October along the Gulf Coast and nests incubate for around 60 days. Once the sun sets, hatchlings emerge all at once and make their way to the Gulf of Mexico. They will spend their first few days in a swimming frenzy to escape the many predators found in nearshore waters. Safer in the open ocean, they will use floating mats of algae to hide and feed until they are big enough to return to nearshore areas.

Sea turtle hatchlings face many threats long before they reach the water. Bright lights from homes, flashlights and cars can lead hatchlings away from the Gulf and into danger. Nearly 60% of hatchlings will be disorientated before reaching the Gulf of Mexico.

Forgotten furniture, toys, sandcastles, and holes can trap hatchlings, causing injury, starvation, and dehydration. Food and other waste left on the beach attracts gulls, crows, stray dogs, and coyotes who also prey on hatchling turtles.

Escambia County recommends the following to protect sea turtles:

If you see a nest hatching or encounter hatchlings turtles on the beach, stay a respectful distance away and call Escambia County Marine Resources at 850- 426-1257.

Written by William Reynolds Filed Under TOP STORIES

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First Sea Turtles Of The Year Hatch On Pensacola Beach - NorthEscambia.com

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