Sea Turtle Season in Naples, Florida
In late spring and summer, Naples welcomes some extra special visitors to its shores—sea turtles! Sea turtle season lasts from May through October and marks the time when female sea turtles make their way onto the shore to lay eggs and nest.
While there are seven different types of sea turtles throughout the world, loggerheads are the most common species to see in the Naples area. Loggerheads can grow to almost four feet long and weigh up to 440 pounds.
While it is exciting to see these majestic creatures on the beaches of Naples, visitors must understand that sea turtles are an endangered species. Habitat destruction, climate change and a variety of other factors are working against their survival and conservation efforts are ongoing. To aid sea turtle survival and well-being, it is essential that all visitors to Naples remain responsible beach-goers and kind co-inhabitants of the area.
Read on to learn more about sea turtle season, discover where to find sea turtles in the area and how to view them responsibly. Then, plan your visit to Naples Grande Beach Resort during sea turtle season!
What happens during sea turtle season?
Each year, female sea turtles trek from the ocean to the shores to build a nest and lay their eggs. Each clutch (group of eggs) can contain about one hundred eggs and each sea turtle can lay multiple clutches. After about two months, the eggs begin to hatch and hatchlings emerge. To get from the nest to the ocean, hatchling sea turtle follow the light from the moon reflecting off the ocean’s horizon.
Where can I find sea turtle nests?
Sea turtle activity across area beaches is tracked on the Collier County website. The Collier County Parks & Recreation Department updates this online chart so they can monitor and protect nests. But you don’t always need a tracking tool to find nests. When sea turtles come ashore, the leave visible tracks leading from the water to the dry patch of sand where they’ve created a nest. At the beach, it’s common to see these tracks. You may also see protective fencing around nests—all part of local conservation efforts.
What should I do if I see a nest? Or a sea turtle?
Always observe sea turtles and sea turtle nests from afar. These animals are protected by state and federal laws and touching them may violate those laws. It’s also important to keep quiet. Loud noises, sudden movement and lights can all frighten sea turtles while they are attempting to nest or return to the water.
If you see an injured sea turtle, seek help from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida by calling 239-262-CARE (2273).
What can I do to help keep sea turtles safe?
When visiting the beach, make sure to dispose of all your trash and remove umbrellas, coolers and lounge chairs when you leave—sea turtles can get entangled in these objects if they’re left near a nest. It’s also important to limit light pollution on the beach as it may interfere with a hatchling’s ability to follow moonlight to the sea. The hatchlings can become disoriented and lose their way, which is very dangerous. For more hands-on service, you can also volunteer with a local research reserve!