Following decades of conservation efforts, turtles are making an impressive comeback on the beaches of Florida and the United States, with more than 50,000 nests, triple last year’s numbers.
“Green turtles have seen the largest increases out of the species that nest in Florida,” explains Laura Henning, public information officer of the Canaveral National Seashore.
Space Coast – a 116-km span of beach on Florida’s central east coast near Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral – has seen a record number of 52,500 sea turtle nests. Around the state, there are about 212,000 sea turtle nests this year, compared to 151,000 last year. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge saw a 195% increase in green sea turtles, one of the most threatened species. In July, 13,683 nests were found at the preserve, compared to 4,638 during the same time last year. Conservation efforts started in the 1980s after adopting the Endangered Species Act. Since turtles are a very slow-growing species, they return to their nesting beach at around 25, so results can only be seen now.