Monday, October 10, 2022

Nature Journal - July 2022


            So, I knew this turtle season was only going to get crazier, but I really didn't expect THIS amount of crazy 😅  This is my first year since 2017 that I've worked 5 days a week doing survey, and WOW I forgot how hard it was!  I'm not sure if it's because I'm no longer in my 20s, or because we have to do more work now than 5 years ago, or because this is the hottest summer we've ever had, or because of all of the above, but this year has definitely been my toughest season yet.

But no matter how hard it gets, the babies always keep me going<3

All research conducted under FWC permit MTP-22-261 on ancestral land of the Seminole and Ais people.

Tour de Turtles

        Tour de Turtles is an event held all over Florida, organized by the Sea Turtle Conservancy and hosted by several sea turtle groups, including the Disney Conservation Group in Vero Beach!  This even takes nesting females from the night before and attaches tracking devices to them, releasing them the next morning and following them along the rest of their journey at sea.  It’s an awesome program that’s been going on for over a decade, that helps us learn more about these sea turtle’s lives in the ocean, and gives people an ethical opportunity to see these endangered species up close, making meaningful connections that will hopefully grow into lifelong efforts to protect them.

        I was finally lucky enough to work the beach the morning of this year’s Tour de Turtles, and I brought my nice camera out to snap a few pics before finishing my survey.  This year Disney named their turtles after the new Avatar movie, and Neytiri and Ronal made a swift run back to the water!  You can now follow them and their journey on the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s website to see who swims the furthest distance in the next 3 months (along with other turtles they’ve tagged).

        And this year had a lil bonus turtle - a leatherback hatchling that we at Ecological Associates, Inc. rescued from inside a nest we dug up for reproductive success data.  These hatchlings are called “stragglers” and will most likely not make it out of their nest without assistance. It’s a natural occurrence, but a few get lucky when we dig our nests for research!  It was so wonderful seeing the crowd’s reaction to this little dude, and we hope he/she makes it to adulthood.

Micco Scrub Sanctuary

        I did get one brief moment in nature away from the beach this month, and hiked Micco Scrub with my mom for the first time!  I got to show her a couple crab spiders, loblolly bay in bloom, and we listened to the calls of eastern towhees and common nighthawks<3

Ancestral land of the Seminole and Ais people.

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