Sea Turtle Tips

Duval County sea turtles are part of the northern family of turtles who are more threatened than the southern turtles, perhaps due to the lack of a large area of nesting sites and the cooler weather.

Swimming Sea TurtleAdult turtles face mostly man-made threats:
  • Loss of habitat.
  • Disorientation from artificial light.
  • By-catch in shrimp trawls.
  • Ingestion of plastic bags, balloons, ribbon and other debris mistaken for food. [See FL balloon release statute].
  • Wounds from boat propellers.
  • Obstacles on beach which prevent nesting.
  • Poaching.
Hatchling Crawling in SandHatchlings face both man-made and natural threats:
  • Disorientation from artificial light.
  • Nest predation by animals and human vandals.
  • Post-emergent predation by birds, crabs and marine life.
  • Obstacles on beach that can trap hatchlings.
How You Can Help:
  • Limit night-time beach activity during nesting season.
  • Turn off or shield all beach lighting and keep seaward windows covered.
  • Keep beach clean of trash, especially balloons, ribbons and plastic bags.
  • Keep beach furniture and toys out of nesting areas.
  • Do not disturb sea turtle tracks, eggs, adults, hatchlings or nest markers.
  • Report all incidents of disturbance that you may witness to the appropriate authorities.
  • Never use flash photography or flashlights, even red-filtered ones, at a nest site. Even lights from cell phones can disturb the hatchlings if they are near the top of the nest. [Read more about your nightvision]
  • Heed instructions from patrol volunteers if you are fortunate enough to witness a nest emergence.
  • If you find a hatchling do not put it in the ocean. Place it in a bucket of moist sand, cover with a towel and call BSTP immediately.
  • Buy a Sea Turtle Specialty tag for your vehicle.
  • Support BSTP's efforts by making donations, adopting a nest or acquiring t-shirts and other BSTP Gear.

Sea Turtle Nest Warning - Click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge.
Remember, it is illegal to touch, handle or interfere in any way with any sea turtle, nest or hatchling, alive or dead, unless instructed by an FWC-permitted individual.

Enjoy the beach but please leave only your footprints.
Leave Only Your Footprints

Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol, Inc.
P.O. Box 50723
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32240-0723
Emergency Phone: (904) 613-6081

Sea Turtle graphic
“Our task must be to free ourselves— by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

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