Rare sea turtles smash nesting records in Georgia, Carolinas

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With all those headlines about global warming and climate change, some great news are rising from time to time. On this occasion, the wildlife experts are absolutely delighted to announce that rare sea turtles are smashing nesting records this summer on beaches in the Southeast. However, according to scientists the egg-laying boom is not random, but the effect of conservation programme started more than 30 years ago.

The Southern Atlantic coast is usually frequented by the giant loggerhead sea turtles for the egg-lying season. Only this year, a historical record is about to be break down as more than 12,000 nests have been left by the 300 pounds massive turtles. The previous record was 11,321 nests in 2016, ABC News reported.

“My laboratory is almost floor-to-ceiling in samples right now,” said University of Georgia professor Joe Nairn, who studies adult female turtles using DNA extracted from eggshell samples taken from each loggerhead nest found in the three states. “It’s pretty obvious to us that this is a big year.”

The news are more than welcomed thinking that the loggerheads sea turtle is a threatened species. A female could lay up to 100 eggs, but they are laying eggs only every 3-4 years.

With the Georgia’s 100 miles coast registering more than 3,500 loggerhead nests, the experts are more than excited. In 2004, the nests numbers were less than 400. The loggerheads female turtles are reaching full maturity at around 30 years old. So that’s the explanation why the conservation efforts started three decades ago only have results now.

“They’ve been able to survive to maturity and reproduce and come back to lay eggs,” said Michelle Pate, who leads the sea turtle program for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. “It’s been a long haul, but I think we’re finally seeing it pay off.”

To mention that Florida doesn’t keep a running count during the nesting season, and that because here is the busiest place where turtles are laying eggs. According to ABC News, back in 2016 Florida counted approximatively 123,000 nests.

Credit: https://abcnews.go.com; https://www.msn.com/