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2008 Sea Turtle Season ReCap

Great article by Mark Davis with the AJC newspaper on Georgia Sea Turtles

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

“Loggerhead sea turtles are holding on in Georgia, despite storms and development. The state Department of Natural Resources, which monitors the turtles’ presence along the coast, said the recently ended nesting season set a record for Caretta caretta.
The department will issue another report early next year on the hatchlings that crawled out of the sand and into the surf during the May-September nesting season.
Until then, it has these numbers:
125,000: the estimated number of hatchlings that made it out of nests and began their trek to the sea. A fraction of these will grow to maturity.
1,646: the total of nests counted on barrier islands during the summer. Cumberland and Blackbeard islands led the count with 336 and 261, respectively.
1,504: the old record of nests, set in 2003.
8 percent: the number of nests damaged by high tides from Tropical Storm Fay, an August tempest that skipped about the shoreline of Florida but caused flooding in Georgia, too.
2,000: the annual number of nests that must appear on the coast for a 25-year period before the federal government removes the loggerhead turtle from its list of threatened species.
The findings “are encouraging,” said Mark Dodd, a DNR biologist who heads the department’s sea-turtle program. “But we’ve got a long way to go to recover loggerheads.”

There are two websites to learn more about this year’s turtle season:

http://www.georgiawildlife.com/ and http://www.tybeemarinescience.org/

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