Did you ever wonder what the tracks of a loggerhead sea turtle look like? Well, this morning the South Walton Turtle Watch (SWTW) surveyors found these...right here in Walton! Classic signs that a loggerhead sea turtle had come ashore to lay her nest.
Once these tracks are discovered the SWTW team carefully confirms that there is a nest and safely marks the area off. Sometimes a sea turtle will come ashore and decide not to lay a nest. That is called a false crawl. You can see our nest near the toe of the dunes, clearly marked with stakes and bright tape!
So, what can you do to help keep this nest (and others we may get) safe while visiting and playing on the beach?
• Play a safe distance from the nest. Any toys that enter the nest area (Frisbees, footballs, sand toys) should be left in the nest. Only FWC permitted staff are allowed to safely remove any objects that fall into the marked area.
• Please keep small children outside of the nest area. Even though they are small, their footsteps could potential harm the nest.
• Keep all pets on leashes. Pets are attracted to nesting areas and if a pet damages or destroys a nest, the owner can be held responsible for disturbing the nest.
• Only use red light emitting flashlights on or near the beach.
• Knock down your sand castles and fill in your holes (this will aide in any future turtles coming ashore and with the hatchlings when they arrive).
• Keep the beach clean. Remove all your belongings when you leave the beach each day. Leave no trace.
Thanks for all you do to help us save our sea turtles....one nest at a time! For more Sea Turtle information please visit www.friendsofswturtles.org