Another Old Friend Came Back to Nest

It’s been a quiet week for our research crew out on Juno Beach.  We’ve had just one more leatherback encounter, which was with a sea turtle named Cynthia on April 12th.  She came up to nest on Juno Beach a little after 2:00 AM.  She had lost both of her flipper tags so we gave her a brand-new pair.  We found healed damage to her peduncle, the tail end of her carapace, so her size measurements are a low estimate.  Even so, we recorded her length at over five feet long (153 cm).  She was quite the healthy-looking sea turtle!  Cynthia was first encountered during Dr. Perrault’s Ph. D fieldwork, so this was another an exciting encounter for our crew.  Loggerhead Marinelife researchers documented Cynthia nesting in in 2007, and she nested in Juno in both 2009 and 2012.  She most likely nested sometime between 2012 and this year.  We’ll be watching for her return as the nesting season continues.

The first loggerhead nest of the season was laid on April 14th.  As the beach was otherwise quiet that night, we spent a few moments watching her nest.  It is always a treat to witness this ancient nesting behavior, even if it’s not the sea turtle species you’re looking for.  Hopefully another leatherback will nest on our beaches soon and we’ll be able to get back to work.  Until then, we are waiting impatiently for our next leatherback encounter.

Disclaimer: All marine turtle images taken in Florida were obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to this or other turtles. Images were acquired while conducting authorized research activities pursuant to FWC MTP-17-211.