Sea Turtles and Nesting Information
Sea Turtles and Nesting
Wow, as of June 27, 2015 there have been a total of 28 loggerhead and 2 leatherback nests located on our Panama City Beaches! Per “Panama City Beach Turtle Watch”, “The nesting season officially runs from May 1 through October 31.” Get more Nesting Information at this link.
Loggerhead and Leatherback Sea Turtles
Many people are not aware but the Loggerhead Sea Turtle was the only known sea turtle to nest on Panama City Beaches until a few years ago. Finally, in 2002 the endangered Green Turtle nest were found and again in 2013. So far this year, two Leatherbacks nest have also been located on the beaches and also in 2012 two Leatherback nest were found. Don’t forget if you see a turtle or tracks on Panama City Beach call 888-404-3922 (24-hr hotline)so they can be properly protected.
Largest Sea Turtle
Leatherback are the largest sea turtles growing uo to 8 feet and can weigh 500 to 2000 pounds. The largest Leatherback was nearly 10 feet long. Leatherbacks are not like other sea turtles they do not have a hard shell or scales instead it is covered with a firm, rubbery skin with seven longitudinal ridges or keels. Their diet primarily consist of mainly eating jelly fish. Wonder if they would like some peanut butter with that? Just joking, back to the important information. They also feed on sea urchins, squid, crustaceans, fish, blue-green algae, and floating seaweed. The female Leatherback nest about 5 to 7 times during a nesting season.
Unfortunately, this amazing creature is on the endangered list due to a variety of reasons. Just to name a few, consumption by humans for the eggs and meat, getting caught up in commercial fishing nets, nest being preyed on by predators, pollution and debris, and being struck and killed by watercraft. Just another reminder, if you see a turtle or tracks on Panama City Beach call 888-404-3922 (24-hr hotline)so they can be properly protected.
You may not get to spot a sea turtle but you are sure to see beautiful and playful bottlenose dolphins when you sign up for an amazing Dolphin Tour at this link.