We have had a few sitings of sea turtles on our trips in the last couple of weeks and the first sea turtle nests of the year in coastal Georgia have been recorded.
Biologists are encouraged by last year's nesting season with a record 1,646 nests recorded on the Georgia coast.
With anywhere from 40-70,000 nests, Florida accounts for more than 90 percent of loggerhead nesting in the United States. Although loggerhead sea turtles nest at many locations around the world, nearly 90 percent of the world's population is believed to nest on the beaches of Florida and Oman (on the Arabian Peninsula).
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said the first leatherback sea turtle nest of the season was found last week on Sea Island. Volunteers discovered the first loggerhead sea turtle nest on Wassaw Island over the weekend. Mark Dodd, the DNR sea turtle program coordinator, said he's hoping 2009 will be an above average nesting season.
The season starts May 1st and goes through September.
Collisions with boats are the most common identifiable cause of trauma in sea turtles that wash up dead on beaches.
Tammy S., our Little Tybee turtle monitor, towed back a rather large dead turtle last week, thought to be the victim of a boat strike.
Five sea turtle species are found in Georgia waters. All of them are protected by state and federal law.
More info at http://www.seaturtle.org/