Endangered Florida Reptiles

A young Loggerhead swims near Panama City, Florida

A young Loggerhead swims near Panama City, Florida
Photo credit: NOAA

 

The Turtles of Florida

Endangered or Threatened Florida Sea Turtles

 

The Florida Loggerhead Turtle
Caretta caretta

 

The most common of Florida's at risk Sea Turtles,

the Loggerhead can regularly be found along

Florida's East Coast, which represents 90% of the US nests.

Florida and Oman are the world leaders in nesting numbers.

 

For over 100 million years, this world traveler has been

observed not only in Oman, but in Alaska,

Canada, Japan, Southern South America

and many other places in between.

A Florida Loggerhead Turtle
A Florida Loggerhead Turtle
Photo credit: NOAA
Marco Giuliano/Fondazione Cetacea

 

About 14,000 of them come to nest in Florida,

but their numbers are declining.

 

Weighing between 250-400 pounds, this Sea Turtle

named for the shape and size of its head,

may live to be up to 6o years old.

 

Every other year or so, between April and September,

the mother comes ashore and digs her nest,

laying about 100 eggs.

A Nesting Loggerhead
A Nesting Loggerhead
Photo credit: NOAA

 

In about 2 months, the small hatchlings will emerge and

if they are very lucky and face no disruptions, such as

lights from houses or cars on shore, or gasp,

humans pointing flashlight in their eyes,

they will make their way to the sea and face

yet more dangers like fishing lines and nets.

A Loggerhead Hatchling

A Loggerhead Hatchling
Photo credit: NPS

 

As with other Sea Turtles, the loss of food, nesting territories

and fishing accidents are the Loggerheads greatest threat.

Although omnivorous, excessive fishing worldwide

has left them with declining dietary choices and

fishing entanglements end many of their lives.

A Loggerhead Escaping a Net with a TED
Loggerhead Escaping from Net with TED
(Turtle Excluder Device)
Photo credit: NOAA

 

This story explains how the Loggerhead and Green Turtles

 have been decimated for the past one hundred years:

Turtles killed for their shells

 

Although Loggerheads are somewhat protected

around the world, their populations continue to

decline each year as a result of thoughtless Humans.

 


Places to learn more:

 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Sea Turtles

 

MFWC Turtle Nesting:

Sea-turtles/nesting/loggerhead

 

National Park Service

Canaveral National SeaShore

 

NOAA

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Loggerhead Turtle

Turtle Nesting Beach Conditions

 

Smithsonian Marine Station

Caretta Caretta

 

US Fish & Wildlife

Loggerhead Nesting in Florida

Species Profile: Loggerhead

 

General Sea Turtle Information:

US Fish & Wildlife

Sea Turtle Fast Facts

Sea Turtle Information

 


 

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Last edited July 10, 2014

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