What to see in Marco Island – Natural attractions – Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nests
IT’S TURTLE SEASON ON MARCO ISLAND….. Have you ever wondered how anyone identifies that a sea turtle has been to those yellow taped off sea turtle nests? I know I have. Well, this is what “Mary the Turtle Lady” (Mary Nelson) on Marco Island looks for when she is riding along on her 4 wheeler very early each morning during turtle nesting season. The evidence is what looks like big tire tracks leading to the ocean. This is where the mother has left the ocean for a brief period of time during the night and laid her eggs before returning to the ocean. The Loggerhead sea turtles on Marco Island have an incubation period of between 45-55 days. I was very fortunate several years ago to meet with Mary and some of the volunteers on the island that protect these nests and see a nest of baby sea turtles hatch. It was an amazing site. Yes, those roped off nests actually do hatch out between 100-150 little baby turtles that make their way to the ocean (at night). This is why on Marco Island that all beachfront properties have to have lights off or blinds drawn after 9 pm during turtle hatching season. If the baby turtles see light, they go toward it – and if the light is from a beachfront property, they do away from the ocean instead of the path they need to take, which is toward moonlight over the ocean. Many thanks to all on Marco Island who take care of our Loggerheads!
As a visitor to Marco Island, you can also help protect our turtles. Always feel free to look at a turtle nest, but do not disturb the nest. Make sure you clean the beach from any straws, plastic, or other items that baby turtles can get tangled up in or hurt by. Make sure you fill in all holes that have been dug in the sand as the babies can get trapped in these and not make their way to the ocean.
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This post was created by Teresa Luber
This article was first published at http://seamarcondo.com/tag/whattosee
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