Turtle Whisperer

On Friday morning, Laura was out early and found the tracks of a sea turtle, up from the Gulf to a high spot on the beach, and then back to the water again.

Tracks aloneWe arrived on Captiva very early in the turtle nesting season, and this turtle was searching for just the right spot to make a nest for her eggs. It’s at the high point of her climb that she makes a nest for her eggs.

Tracks, LauraLaura  began creating a temporary fence around that spot to protect the eggs.

Tracks Buster & LauraThen Buster joined in. In honor of her discovery, Laura’s brother, in a long-distance exchange, dubbed her a “turtle whisperer,” a tag that is well deserved.

Tracks, meeting KristieBefore our protective fence was finished, folks from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation arrived to check out the tracks “officially.” We were thrilled to discover that one of the two women was Kristie Anders, SCCF education director, whose reputation had reached us much earlier. At that point we learned that what Laura found was a “false crawl,” and there were no eggs to protect. Especially early in the season, mama turtles often don’t like something about the spot they’ve found, or they just aren’t quite ready. So they crawl back. We also learned that the tracks were made by a loggerhead turtle.

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