On Mississippi Beach, the first sea turtle nest since 2018 has been discovered by beach crews. The crew was cleaning up the beach when they found, what appeared to be, turtle tracks. After protecting the area they called the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. The team from the Institute followed the tracks back to a nesting site and sealed off the area with tape and stakes.
Moby Solangi, the president of the marine studies group, believes the eggs in the nest to belong to either a loggerhead sea turtle or a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, which is one of the most critically endangered species of sea turtle in the world.
Solangi said to The Sun Herald in Biloxi that the exact species of the eggs can’t be known until they hatch. She explained that turtles lay between 60 to 100 eggs in a nest and have multiple ones during a season.
Even though this is the first nest on the mainland Mississippi since 2018, according to officials, there have been unofficial reports of nests on uninhabited barrier islands.
“After all the environmental disasters we’ve had, this is a good sign. When (turtle populations) have gone down, it means the ecosystem that supports them is having difficulty. When animals start breeding, it means things have started to get better,” Solangi said.