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When researchers and volunteers went out to count how many nests with eggs that sea turtles built around the beaches of Florida in the United States this year, they got a pleasant surprise, Macro Eagle reports.
In Bonita Beach, there were 282 nests. In 2005 there were only 44 nests on the same beach. In all of Collier County, the researchers counted 1,945 nests, a remarkable increase from the 444 nests found there in 2005.
“Jeez, that's totally crazy. We have never seen numbers like this. And the eggs also hatch very well,” says Maura Kraus, Collier County environmental specialist, in a comment to Macro Eagle.
There are several different species of sea turtles, including loggerhead and green sea turtles, which are now building nests in record numbers. Some species are now also building nests on beaches they have never used before.
The researchers believe that the increase is the result of protective measures that were taken several decades ago.
"It takes loggerhead sea turtles around 30 years to become adults, and it is within that time frame that we need to look to see what measures are now yielding results," says Eve Haverfield, president of the volunteer group Turtle Time, which, among other things, counts nests on the beaches.
Among the measures that have now yielded results is, among other things, a great deal of work among volunteer groups to raise turtles until they are nine months old before they are released into the sea. Information campaigns for the local population and protecting the nests from predators have also contributed to the success.