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Broward Wraps Up Busy Sea Turtle Nesting Season

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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - This year will go down in the books as one of the busier years for sea turtle nesting on Broward's beaches.

According to data from the Broward's Sea Turtle Conservation Program this year was the second most active nesting season on record with 3,047 nests, only behind the 2012 season which had 3,539 nests.

High nesting numbers were seen statewide as the number of loggerhead turtle nests remained high and leatherback sea turtle nesting increased to a new record according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Loggerhead turtles are the most common species to nest from Miami-Dade County to Palm Beach County. Nesting activity for this species was the second highest on record totaling 2,871.

It was a slower than average nesting year for endangered green turtles as 2014 recorded 135 nests compared to last year's record breaking 490. This is not unusual though as green turtle females tend to mate every two to four years and last year was an exceptionally active nesting year for this species.

In addition, it was a very active nesting season for leatherbacks, the rarest marine turtle species to commonly nest in Broward, as they also tend to fluctuate between active, 41 nests in 2014, and slower, 18 nests in 2013.

Loggerhead turtles reach sexual maturity between 30-35 years and for more than 30 years the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program has helped more sea turtle hatchlings safely reach the water.

More hatchlings in the water eventually translate to more nesting mothers returning to Broward's beaches producing even more hatchlings. Nesting mothers generally nest within miles of the beach habitat that they emerged from as hatchlings.


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