Photo of “Cappuccino” from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
We’re having a banner sea turtle year on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, already surpassing our previous loggerhead nest count records with months of nesting season still to go!
As of the latest tally from SCCF sea turtle patrol volunteers:
- 1,078 sea turtle nests have been laid across the islands.
- 1,056 nests were laid by loggerheads (Caretta caretta), including new records of 789 on Sanibel and 267 on Captiva. The previous records were 671 on Sanibel in 2021 and 264 on Captiva in 2020.
- 22 nests were laid by green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), including 21 on Sanibel and 1 on Captiva.
- 4,244 hatchlings have successfully emerged.
- 359 nesting sea turtles have been encountered by SCCF’s nighttime tagging team, including 215 unique individuals.
- 134 encountered sea turtles were “new” turtles that had no previous tags from SCCF (62% of total individuals encountered).
- 81 encountered sea turtles were returners from previous years (38% of total individuals).
Nighttime turtle encounters have also broken the record for most encounters at this point in the season.
“Our team has had fun keeping with the theme of naming untagged turtles after female musicians, including Madonna, Baby Spice, Barbara Streisand, Beyonce, and Judy Garland,” said SCCF Sea Turtle Biologist Savannah Weber.
“Our team was also excited to encounter a previously tagged sea turtle named Cappuccino (pictured above), who hasn’t been observed on Sanibel since 2017!”