Sanibel’s sea turtle nests fared well during Hurricane Irma with nests still hatching post storm.
SCCF Sea Turtle Coordinator Kelly Sloan said since sea turtles have evolved over millions of years, they know to lay many nests in one season. She said they have documented some of the turtles laying four nests, so if one was lost during Hurricane Irma it was not detrimental.
The east end of the island fared the best during Hurricane Irma with only 13 nests lost. The west end lost 36 nests and had 33 nests left as of last Thursday.
So far this season, 41,000 hatchlings have emerged on Sanibel, an increase from last year’s 25,000.
“There’s still nest hatching every day,” Sloan said.
After the bridge was cleared following Hurricane Irma, Sloan said SCCF Technician Andrew Glinsky came out to the island to see how the turtle nests fared.
“We were all pleasantly surprised,” she said.
Glinsky and a few interns have been using a GPS unit that helps them find where the nests were located, due to some of the stakes being washed away. Sloan said they are digging where the nests should have been and have found some of the egg chambers.
“It’s always exciting when you think you lost a nest and find viable eggs,” she said.
The remaining nests on the island are staked and daily surveys are being conducted.
Thanks to our friends at the Island Reporter for the update!