Scientists: 2015 was record year for sea turtle nests

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Scientists from Mote Marine say 2015 was a record-breaking season for sea turtle nests.

Mote's sea turtle patrol has been monitoring nesting beaches from Longboat Key to Venice for 34 years.  They say there was a total of 2,475 nests this year, which beats the 2012 record by six nests.

Scientists found more than 300 of those nests in Longboat Key in Manatee County, and more than 400 in Siesta Key.
“This year was such an incredibly successful year for sea turtle nesting numbers, which is great to see as these animals are endangered,” said Kristen Mazzarella, senior biologist with Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program.

Mote scientists are seeking donations of supplies and funding to help support the Sea Turtle Patrol as they prepare for another busy year in 2016.

To donate, please contact Kathy Klingensmith at 941-388-4441 (ext. 308), email, or visit

Supplies needed to gear up for the 2016 turtle nesting season include:

  • Black permanent markers from Sharpie
  • 100-foot large measuring tapes with non-metal blades
  • Paint roller covers, 9-inch and 4-inch (for painting yellow stakes to mark nests)
  • Flagging tape (for marking nests)
  • Latex gloves, medium size (for excavating hatched nests to document their contents)
  • Rubber mallets (for pounding stakes into the sand to mark nests)
  • Handheld GPS units (for documenting locations of turtle activities)
  • Digital cameras (for documenting nests and turtle crawls)
  • All-terrain vehicle covers (for ATVs used to patrol beaches)
  • Yellow paint, 5-gallon cans (for painting stakes to mark nests)
  • Large tarps (used when painting nest stakes)
  • WD-40 lubricant (1 gallon)
  • AAA and AA batteries (for GPS and cameras used to document nests)
  • Waterproof field notebooks (from “Rite in the Rain” brand)
  • Red LED headlamps (for monitoring and studying sea turtles at night on the beach – red light does not disturb nesting turtles or hatchlings)
  • Wire cutters for making and disassembling protective cages