sea turtles

A state legislator wants to reaffirm Florida’s commitment—to a horse and a turtle.

Optimus The Sea Turtle Returns Home

Jun 21, 2016
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Biscayne Bay has a new resident. Her first day in the water was June 16 - appropriately, World Sea Turtle Day.

Meet Optimus, the loggerhead sea turtle. She is three feet long, weighs 65 pounds and is a survivor.

Optimus was ready to be released back into her native habitat after more than a year of recovery at the Miami Seaquarium. She was hit by a boat propeller and seriously injured  in April 2015.

Meghan Koperski / FWC

Sea turtle nesting season on Florida beaches begins March 1st. State wildlife officials are reminding beachgoers to turn off the flash when taking photos of nesting or hatching turtles.

The City of Oakland Park

  

Charles Livio, 62, is proud of his adopted family of 12.

“We have 10 adults and two juveniles,” says a beaming Livio.  “We had a successful breeding.”

If that sounds like a strange way for a foster dad to talk about his charges, it’s only because the family at Oakland Park’s Lakeside Sand Pine Preserve is an unusual one.  And Livio’s 12 dependents are a bit reclusive.

“They are naturally leery of people. And when they see people, they will usually scurry back in their burrow or they’ll just scurry off,” he says.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  

The unassuming blue-green building in Marathon once housed a strip club. Now it is a modern medical facility on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine applied to sea turtles.

The Turtle Hospital started in the 1980s, in the motel next door. It started taking in sea turtles that had been hit by boats or tangled in fishing line. And it has always seen patients, especially green sea turtles, with fibropapilloma tumors.

But those numbers have been growing substantially in recent years. 

FWC / Keys InfoNet

Two Miami men pleaded no contest Wednesday in Monroe County Circuit Court to a third-degree felony charge in a case of sea turtle mutilation.

David Hernandez-Sordo, 49, and Pedro Suarez, 60, were sentenced to 18 months' probation, said Assistant Monroe State Attorney Anna Hubicki, who prosecuted the case. They also pled no contest to a second-degree misdemeanor charge.

Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

Nine Kemp's ridley sea turtles have been released from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon and will be returned to the sea off northern Florida's Atlantic coast.

They are part of a group of 193 Kemp's ridley turtles sent to Florida from New England last month, after an early cold snap caught them before their annual migration south.

Sea Turtle Travels Cross Country By FedEx

Sep 25, 2014
Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

  How long does it take a sea turtle to travel from the Florida Keys to southern California?

Only a few hours when it travels by FedEx. That's what Sapphire, a loggerhead sea turtle, is doing today on a journey from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon to The Living Coast Discovery Center near San Diego.

The turtle has been at the Middle Keys rehab center for 16 months and cannot be released back to the wild.

Sea Turtle Nesting Numbers Soar In Florida

Sep 16, 2013
Biscayne National Par

When the late Archie Carr, a pioneering University of Florida ecologist, first began documenting the decline of sea turtles in the 1960s, the future looked grim — particularly for the green turtle.

The green turtle had long been a Florida seafood menu staple, usually served up in the famous soup. But with the population largely eaten out of existence in state waters, most meat had to be imported.

Staci-Lee Sherwood, Sea Turtle Oversight Protection

South Florida is at the height of sea turtle nesting season, the time of year when thousands of turtle hatchlings burst out of their nests and instinctively use moonlight to guide them out to the ocean.

Although conservationists have made progress in dimming the lights along the beach, they're still running up against a form of light pollution that's hard to control.

USFWS/Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

Sea turtle nesting season is off and crawling this year with the first reported sea turtle nest in Boca Raton. The nest, made by a leatherback turtle, was recorded on Sunday morning in South Beach Park by Marine Turtle Specialists with the Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program based out of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. 

USFWS/Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

South Florida's beaches in late spring through much of the fall resemble something of a crime scene, or rather, dozens of miniature crime scenes. Brightly colored caution tape and wooden stakes can be found scattered throughout the sand, sectioning off areas where sea turtles have left the water to build nests.

That tableau could look a bit different this year, says marine conservationist Dr. Kirt Rusenko, who is based at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton.