2019 Sea turtle season at Rookery Bay is currently in full swing with a grand total of 68 nests and 43 false crawls for the Cape Romano Complex. Kice Island is taking the lead with the most nests of the six islands – a whopping 30 nests! Each day, we are finding anywhere between one to four new nests off the beaches of the Cape Romano complex. In addition to the everyday adventures of field work, we have also had some exciting highlights.
NOAA intern Doug Kurtz has joined us. Doug is a rising junior at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. So far, his favorite part of patrol is getting to interact with locals and educating those who might otherwise be unfamiliar with the nature that is going on in their own backyard.
Recently, while patrolling Kice Island, we noticed a Great Blue Heron who was having trouble flying. We were able to rescue the bird, bring it on the boat and ride back to the Goodland Field Station. We brought it to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida where it was cared for and then released by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Another day during patrol on Kice Island, we got to meet some of the children of the Marco Island Youth Academy who were on the island for a field trip for summer camp. Coincidentally, there was a new sea turtle crawl near where the students were spending their day. We were able to inform the students about nesting sea turtles as well as show them how we put the cages around the nests!
We are so excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store for the turtle team!
Turtle Intern Laura Blessing
Please remember, maintaining a safe distance is imperative for a successful nesting season for all of Florida’s wild life.
Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve stretches across 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forest, uplands and protected waters. We are committed to preservation through research, education, and land protection.