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8 May 2021
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Sanibel OutdoorsSanibel Wildlife

With the arrival of May, Sanibel and Captiva have entered the 2021 Sea Turtle Nesting Season! And we’re off to a great and EARLY start, as the first nest on Sanibel was found on the East end of the island on Tuesday, April 27.  Soon we’ll have bright yellow stakes and signs to warn people to keep their distance (social or other).  Last year we had record numbers of nests and hatchlings, party due to the beaches being practically uninhabited from the COVID shutdown of all tourism arrivals and public beach parking.  Will this year fare as well, with Southwest Florida’s explosion of new and returning visitors since last year? It’s still possible, but the little guys need your help from now till October 31:

  1. Obviously, don’t disturb any marked nests.
  2. If you see any new, unmarked nests, please report it to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) at (239) 472-2329.
  3. After 9pm, please turn off or shade any light that can be seen from the beach (porchlights, indoor lights visible through windows facing the beach, etc.).  So be sure to close any shades or blinds.
  4. If on the beach at night, avoid using flash photography or flashes on your cell/mobile phone. 
  5. Do not leave any beach furniture out when not in use.
  6. If you dig any holes in the sand or build any structures (i.e. sand castles & holes from your umbrella), be sure to fill them back up/knock them down before you leave.  As they say, “leave nothing but footprints.”
  7. If you do go looking for sea turtles be sure to keep your distance from them.  Any of the above actions may lead to “false crawls” which can be fatal to hatchlings. 

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