[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Leatherback Nesting Numbers Continue to Climb in 2012


Leatherback Nesting Numbers Continue to Climb in 2012

Since the 1980s, leatherback nest numbers have increased exponentially on Florida's beaches.

Palm Beach County hosts the highest number of leatherback nests in the state.

In 2001, biologists set out to study the nesting population. Each night during nesting season, staff members patrol the beach along an 18km stretch. Each leatherback encountered is measured and tagged for identification.

The program was designed to identify nesting individuals and understand the size and status of the population. The program has since expanded to include many research projects studying migration, health, reproductive behavior, contaminants, threats and genetics.

In 2012, the team documented a record 380 encounters from March 15th through June 22nd. These encounters were with 161 individual females.

Many turtles were seen more than once, some as many as 8 times. 71 of these turtles were new to the project and not been tagged prior to this year.

The remaining 90 turtles had been tagged in previous years. Some of these are still returning after being tagged in 2001, the inaugural season of the project!

Since 2001, when the project began, 545 individuals have been tagged and a total of 2,256 encounters have been recorded.
Many individuals have been seen over 20 times.

Data collected from the project are helping to provide critical information about the increasing Florida nesting population.


Recent Activity:



Post a Comment