Shell Yeah! Georgia’s Loggerhead Turtles Make Waves as Nesting Season Begins

May 6, 2024
1 min read

🐢 The Gist: The 2024 nesting season for loggerhead sea turtles in Georgia began last weekend with four nests discovered on Wassaw, Jekyll, and Blackbeard islands.

🤔 Why It Matters: Monitoring the nesting activity of loggerhead sea turtles, a federally protected species, is crucial for assessing their population recovery and informing conservation efforts. The data collected by volunteers and researchers helps protect these turtles and their habitats.

What’s Happening:

  • Daily nest monitoring on all Georgia beaches starts in mid-May, but the first nests were reported over the weekend by various organizations
  • Computer modeling suggests low to medium nesting productivity this year, following a three-year pattern in the region

🔍 Between the Lines:

  • In 2023, loggerhead turtles laid 3,431 nests in Georgia, more than twice the 35-year average and exceeding the recovery goal of 2,800 nests per year
  • The loggerhead population has been increasing at approximately 4% annually since the early 1990s, but a population model indicates a potential plateau for the next 15-20 years

🏃 Catch Up Quick: The Sea Turtle Cooperative, a network of volunteers, researchers, and agency employees, works tirelessly each nesting season to monitor, protect, and collect data on loggerhead nests along Georgia’s barrier island beaches.

🖼️ The Big Picture: The long-term data collected by the Sea Turtle Cooperative is essential for understanding population trends, assessing threats, and guiding management decisions. With continued protection efforts, loggerhead numbers could potentially rebound to levels not seen since the late 1950s.

💭 Your Take: What steps do you think local communities and beachgoers can take to support the conservation of loggerhead sea turtles during nesting season? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

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