Sea turtles fare well in recent nest count in Florida

Maura Kraus fills out data on a turtle nest that was identified on Parkshore Beach in Naples on June 15, 2011.  The data will later help them estimate a hatching date and will help monitor the nests progress.  Kraus has worked with Collier County Parks and Recreation and the Sea Turtle Protection Program for nearly 28 years. Manuel Martinez/Staff

Photo by Manuel Martinez

Maura Kraus fills out data on a turtle nest that was identified on Parkshore Beach in Naples on June 15, 2011. The data will later help them estimate a hatching date and will help monitor the nests progress. Kraus has worked with Collier County Parks and Recreation and the Sea Turtle Protection Program for nearly 28 years. Manuel Martinez/Staff

TALLAHASSEE — This was a good year for sea turtles in Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports a record high annual nest count for green turtles in 2011 and a near record for leatherback turtle nests. Both species are on the federal endangered list.

However, loggerheads did not increase in numbers this year, with the nest count close to average for the previous five years. Loggerheads are the species that nests most commonly in Florida.

Officials attributed the gains partially to major conservation efforts over the past few decades.

Nest counts are performed each year to measure seasonal sea turtle nesting and to allow for accurate comparisons of beaches and years. The counts take place on 255 miles of selected beaches along both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

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