top story

Suspected poachers damage sea turtle nests

  • 0

NOKOMIS, FL (WWSB) - Mote Marine Laboratory says a sea turtle nest was damaged on July 5 by suspected poachers. 

According to Mote Marine, three suspected poachers dug into the nest and left one broken egg on its surface. 

Two members of Mote Marine Laboratory’s nighttime sea turtle tagging team say they saw the perpetrators digging into the nest around 1:30 a.m. As the tagging team got closer, the suspected poachers ran away, and could not be identified. 

Mote reported the incident to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

According to Mote Senior Biologist Melissa Bernhard, intentional poaching of sea turtle nests is rare in Mote’s monitoring area, Longboat Key through Venice, but accidental damage and vandalism are more common.

Last month Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol found eight sea turtle nests damaged by an all-terrain vehicle or golf cart on Siesta Key

If you suspect that someone is tampering with a sea turtle nest, harassing a sea turtle or has possession of a sea turtle or any of its parts, please call FWC’s wildlife alert hotline (888-404-FWCC (3922)) or your local sheriff’s department.

Copyright 2018 WWSB. All rights reserved.