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Loggerhead crawl

About Us

Our Mission

Sea turtle nesting surveys are conducted on an ATV every morning starting half an hour before sunrise from March 1st to October 31st  each year. The program surveys all (24 miles) of Broward County's beaches (except Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park) documenting all new crawls from the previous night. The marine turtle specialists determine if the crawl resulted in a false crawl or a nest. A false crawl is when the female sea turtle does not deposit eggs in the sand. In this case, data is collected, and the tracks are erased. If it is determined to be a nest, data is collected, the area is roped off with stakes and tape, tracks are erased, and the nest is monitored during incubation until it hatches. After about two months the nest will hatch (depending on the species), and we wait three days before performing an excavation to determine the overall hatch success.

Our program also installs and monitors restraining cages in certain areas of Broward County that have high artificial light exposure. Examples of such artificial lighting include streetlights, exterior lighting, and interior lighting. Adult sea turtles and hatchlings orient themselves towards the brightest horizon, which used to be the moon, sky, and stars reflecting off the water in a more natural setting.  However, if there is artificial lighting along the coast, sea turtles may get confused and crawl towards the lights, in some cases, never reaching the ocean. Restraining cages are installed right before the nest comes into hatching range.  When the nest hatches, the cage safely holds the hatchlings until our authorized personnel can respond and release them accordingly.

Our program also responds to sea turtle emergencies and strandings, conducts lighting surveys in order to monitor beachfront light pollution, and leads public education and community outreach events in an effort to expand knowledge about the importance of endangered sea turtle conservation.


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