PERDIDO KEY, Fla. (WKRG) — The first loggerhead sea turtle nest of the 2020 season for Escambia County was recorded in Perdido Key this week.
The Escambia County Sea Turtle Conservation Program says the new nest is one of two currently on county-patrolled beaches after Tropical Storm Cristobal washed away two nests on Pensacola Beach.
Four species of sea turtle nest on Escambia County beaches May through October. Loggerheads are the most common, followed by greens, leatherbacks and the rare Kemp’s Ridley.
How to Help Protect Sea Turtles in Escambia County:
- Lights Out! Female turtles prefer dark, quiet beaches for nesting and hatchlings need dark skies to find the Gulf of Mexico. Leave the flashlights and cell phones at home or use a red flashlight when on the beach at night. Turn off beach-facing lights and close windows and curtains to keep our beaches dark.
- Leave No Trace! Remove all furniture and toys from the beach when you’re done for the day, including hammocks, tents, canopies, chairs, toys and sports equipment.
- Stow It, Don’t Throw it! Trash and food waste can entangle turtles and other wildlife and attract unwanted predators. Always dispose of trash in the proper receptable and refrain from feeding wildlife.
- Knock it Down! Hatchling turtles and shorebird chicks are small and easily trapped by holes and steep cliffs. Always knock down sandcastles and fill in holes at the end of your visit to prevent trapping and injuring wildlife.
If you encounter a nesting turtle, Escambia County says to turn off all lights and retreat a safe distance away. Dead or injured sea turtles should be reported to Escambia County Marine Resources at 850- 426-1257 or the FWC Wildlife Alert line at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).
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