Home Education First Loggerhead Nest Recorded on Pensacola Beach

First Loggerhead Nest Recorded on Pensacola Beach

Escambia County Sea Turtle Patrol volunteers recorded the first nest of the 2024 season on Pensacola Beach early Friday morning, May 17. After finding two false crawls earlier in the week, volunteers and staff are thrilled to finally receive a nest.

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The nest is a loggerhead, which account for 90% of nests laid in Escambia County. June and July are the busiest nesting months in Escambia County, and more nests are expected in the coming weeks.

Three other species of sea turtle nest on Escambia County beaches May-October, including greens, leatherbacks and the rare Kemp’s Ridley. Once laid, the eggs will incubate for around 60 days, after which hatchlings emerge under the cover of darkness and make their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea turtles of all sizes face many threats. For nesting females, white lights on the beach may deter them from nesting or cause them to abandon a nesting attempt, also known as a false crawl. Furniture, tents and toys left on the beach overnight create obstacles for nesting turtles and can injure or trap them on the beach. Because June and July are the busiest nesting months in Escambia County, more nests are expected in the coming weeks.

Help protect nesting sea turtles and other coastal wildlife by remembering:

  • 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.
  • Look Out Below! Boaters should be on the lookout for sea turtles and manatees resting at the surface or feeding in shallow waters. Use a lookout when operating at high speeds and slow down when approaching docks and marinas.
  • If You Dig It, Fill It! Large holes are hazardous to both wildlife and people. Avoid digging large holes and fill in any holes, trenches or moats at the end of your visit.

For more information about sea turtles and other coastal wildlife in Escambia County, check out MyEscambia.com/seaturtles and follow the Escambia County Natural Resources Management Department on Facebook and Instagram.

If you encounter a nesting turtle, 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). All sea turtle work performed by Escambia County was completed under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Turtle Permits #032a and #202.