TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- October 21, 2012
State wildlife officials are reporting a strong year for loggerhead sea turtle nesting in Florida.
Researchers surveyed 250 miles of beaches and counted 58,172 loggerhead nests. That's one of the highest counts since monitoring began in 1989.
Nesting on the same beaches peaked in 1998 with 59,918 nests. The low was 28,074 nests counted in 2007.
Loggerhead turtles are a threatened species, and almost all of their nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida. Blair Witherington of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says loggerhead nesting has risen in Florida over the last five years, but the turtles still face many challenges.
Hatchlings will continue to emerge from loggerhead nests through November.
Researchers also counted 6,054 green turtle nests and 515 leatherback turtle nests on Florida beaches this year.