Turtles Share Gulf Coast Beaches
In case you weren’t aware, our Gulf Coast Beaches are home to three types of endangered sea turtles that nest on our shores: green sea turtles, kemps ridley sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles. Each species is unique in its own way and help our local eco-system.
Did you know?
• Sea Turtle Nesting Season is May 1 through October 31.
• Sea Turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act. It is against the law to disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests.
• Sea turtles first appeared about 200 million years ago when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. Sea turtles, the last of the ancient reptiles, are like living fossils.
• Female sea turtles lay an average of 100 leathery, ping-pong-size eggs at a time. Only a few young turtles, however, will make it to adulthood.
• Hatchling sea turtles find their way to the Gulf waters by moonlight or starlight. Building lights along the shore may confuse the baby sea turtles, drawing them away from the water.
• Adult loggerhead sea turtles weigh between 175 and 350 pounds. Baby hatchlings weigh only one to two ounces.
• Sea turtle egg incubation period is 55 to 75 days. Most hatchlings emerge together in an “eruption” of babies from the nest.
You can help the turtles along our Gulf Shores beaches by:
• Avoiding use of flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night.
• Turning off outside patio lights and shielding indoor lights from shining onto the beach at night.
• Not disturbing sea turtle nests.
• Leaving sea turtle tracks undisturbed.
• Not leaving trash on the beach.
• Volunteering and adopting a sea turtle nest.
Visit http://www.alabamaseaturtles.com for more information about these sea creatures.