JUPITER ISLAND, Fla. - Jupiter Island, which is just a six-and-a-half mile stretch of beach, has seen more turtle nests this season than all of the Treasure Coast combined.
An uptick of sea turtle nests on Jupiter Island has biologist Pete Quincy reflecting.
"This year has been remarkable. We are up to 6,677 total nests,” said Quincy.
He says more than 6,000 are loggerheads, which can grow to three feet long and 350 pounds. This year's nest number has already outpaced last year's total by more than 1,000.
"That's the most we've ever had here on the town's beaches,” said Quincy.
From March through October, Quincy arrives at his Jupiter Island office, the beach, at dawn. He tracks turtle species and nests, recording the numbers.
The uptick in nests is great news, but even Quincy, who’s worked this beach for 17 years, doesn't know why it’s happening.
"Exactly what is going on ... I'm not sure anybody can really answer,” Quincy said. He does know this is the third most densely-nested Florida beach.
Quincy says he more nests, the more hatchlings, and hopefully, the more turtles reaching reproductive stages.
The three turtle types the biologist counts, loggerheads, greens and leatherbacks, are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Nesting season ends November 1.
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