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Nature Calls
home : features : nature calls
May 17, 2022


5/6/2022 3:54:00 PM
Coastal Wildlife Club Needs Your Help
Kemps Ridley Turtle
Kemps Ridley Turtle
Gopher Tortoise
Gopher Tortoise

Manasota Key Beach Walkers - your help is needed! Please report immediately any sea turtle you see nesting during the day to this number: 941•212•2214, Coastal Wildlife Club, Inc. Please take a few photos from a respectful distance. Provide location. To be sure you are looking at a sea turtle and not a gopher tortoise, here are some quick tips:
• A gopher tortoise is a land tortoise shaped like a helmet and is land-based. It has shovel-like legs with claws, not flippers. It weighs less than 20 pounds.
• A Kemp’s ridley turtle is shaped like a flying saucer and is about two feet long. It is wider than it is long and weighs about 70 pounds.
WHY?
1. The turtle could be a Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii). They are the smallest of the sea turtles and are critically endangered. They prefer nesting during the daytime and on a windy day early in turtle season, April - June.
2. Since the Kemp’s ridley is so small and light, she leaves little trace that she was on the beach.
3. Once called, the turtle patrol will come immediately to mark the nest to protect it and will monitor it daily.
4. Your photos will help confirm species.
5. Your assistance is most appreciated and is vitally important to sea turtle conservation. Don’t forget turtle season began on May 1 and continues until October 31.
DO keep the beach DARK and keep artificial light off the beach.
DO keep the beach clean by picking up any trash.
DO fill in holes so turtles and hatchlings do not become trapped.
DO remove furniture, toys, and any other items off the sand so nesting turtles can freely use the entire beach without obstructions.





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