Alabama authorities advise caution as holiday beach visitors disrupt sea turtle nesting

Alabama officials are urging caution among beachgoers during the holiday season to avoid disrupting sea turtle nesting. Spoiling the nesting sites can have long-term effects on the population of sea turtles. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of their nesting grounds and avoid disturbing them. By taking simple precautions, such as keeping a safe distance from the nesting sites and turning off bright lights, we can help protect these endangered animals and ensure their survival. Let us all work together to preserve the natural beauty and diversity of our oceans.

Alabama officials are urging caution after beachgoers spoiled sea turtle nesting on July 4th. According to the Alabama Ecological Services Field Office, the incident has caused significant harm to the nesting turtles.

The city of Mobile, Alabama is in the spotlight as WPMI reports.

The sight of a sea turtle lying on an Alabama beach, as seen in a photo making rounds on social media, has sparked widespread outrage.

According to Shannon Holbrook, a fish and wildlife biologist for the Alabama Ecological Services Field Office, a massive sea turtle was spotted on the shore on the Fourth of July. The turtle had come to nest but was unable to lay her eggs due to a group of people who surrounded her and flashed lights at her.

Holbrook explained that people often get excited when they see a sea turtle emerge from the water and immediately reach for their cell phones to take pictures and follow it. However, they are unaware that this behavior can be disturbing to the sea turtle. “They really want to get this amazing experience, and they do not know this is really disturbing the sea turtle,” said Holbrook.

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Living along the Gulf Coast, many people are aware of the negative impact that artificial light can have on sea turtles. Such light sources can confuse newly hatched turtles, causing them to head in the wrong direction away from the sea, and also disturb nesting mothers. According to Holbrook, it is likely that many of the individuals in the photo were not aware of the harm they were causing.

“She said that if you shine lights or get too close to her, and make a lot of noise, she will simply give up and head back to the water,” stated the speaker.

Regrettably, according to Holbrook, if the sea turtle returns to the sea without laying her eggs, it may indicate that she dropped the clutch in the water. The Alabama Ecological Services Field Office recognized this occurrence as a chance to enlighten others.

Holbrook shared that educating people about the protection of sea turtles has been one of her long-term goals. She emphasized that all sea turtles are safeguarded under the Endangered Species Act, and their preservation is of utmost importance. “We are doing everything we can,” she added.

The Alabama Coastal Foundation, which is responsible for monitoring sea turtle nests along the coast, reports the presence of three sea turtle species that nest in Alabama’s coast: green, Kemp’s Ridley, and loggerhead, the latter being the one seen in the picture. It is important for beachgoers to be vigilant of nesting sea turtles from May to October.

“Give the sea turtle some space by standing back at least 30 feet. It’s important to turn off any lights as they can be disorienting for the turtle. Simply observe and appreciate these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.”

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