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Green turtles break local record, Loggerheads finish strong

Sea turtles have finished nesting on beaches from Longboat Key through Venice, where green sea turtles laid a record number of nests and loggerhead sea turtles also had a strong year, according to Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. Nests are now hatching, and many rescued hatchlings are currently receiving care in Mote’s Hatchling Hospital.

Green sea turtles, which are uncommon on local nesting beaches, laid 30 nests this year in Mote’s Patrol area, double their past record of 14 nests in 2007 and 2010.

Green sea turtle numbers have increased steadily between 1989 and 2012 at multiple Florida beaches, according to the Index Nesting Beach Survey coordinated by the state’s wildlife agency, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Greens’ nesting numbers tend to follow a saw-toothed pattern of peaks and valleys that occur in two-year cycles. Loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species that is much more common locally, laid 2,240 nests in 2013, a strong total close behind the 31-year record count of 2,462 nests in 2012.

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