VENICE, Fla. – The 2014 sea turtle nesting season is under way, and the rarest of all sea turtle species has already been seen nesting on a Venice Beach.
On May 9th, Venice resident Adam Sando shot video of a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle as it nested and then contacted Mote to share what was happening.
“Adam did everything right,” says Kristen Mazzarella, senior biologist with Mote’s Sea Conservation and Research Program. “He observed the turtle from a safe distance, didn't interfere with the turtle's nesting and shared the news with us at Mote so we could document this rare Kemp's ridley nest.”
Video courtesy: Adam Sando
Unlike loggerhead sea turtles, which nest at night, Kemp’s ridleys nest during the day. They also weigh less than loggerhead sea turtles, so the tracks that they leave behind after nesting are often obscured by the time Sea Turtle Patrollers are on a beach the following morning.
The first sea turtle nests of 2014 in Mote's area were found May 6, on Longboat and Casey keys and were laid by loggerhead sea turtles. Loggerheads, considered threatened under federal law, are the most common species on local beaches, followed by endangered green sea turtles.
According to Mote, in recent years, Sarasota County has also hosted a handful of endangered Kemp’s ridleys, among the smallest and rarest sea turtles.