JUNO BEACH, Fla. - Florida hosts the second largest sea turtle nesting population in the world.
For a time the numbers of the ancient creatures were dwindling, which put them on the endangered and threatened list.
Now, however, local biologists are seeing quite the comeback for the three main species that nest on our beaches.
Kelly Martin, a biologist at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center says, "We're kind of at the peak of our nesting season right here at Juno Beach and we've seen some phenomenal numbers actually this year. Our green turtles are almost double what they were last year and last year was a record year for us."
Nests for loggerhead turtles have increased more than 1,000 in Jupiter and Juno Beach alone from this same time last year.
"We've also seen the second highest year ever on Juno Beach for leatherback numbers so all three species of turtles that nest here are good," Martin adds.
Numbers are way up all over the state.
"Education has been key; having people aware that turtles are nesting out here, keeping their lights off, staying off the beaches at night, keeping the oceans clean, you know things like that is really starting to show an impact in increasing numbers," Martin said.
And increasing numbers of turtles are a great sign that the species is recovering.
"Green turtles and leatherbacks went from a handful of nests every year to now several hundred nests every year, even over a thousand for the green turtles. I think it looks great for the future for those two species. With loggerheads I think it's still a little too early to tell how they're really going to be doing, I mean, increasing next numbers always look great but were nowhere near what the population used to be so it's a little hard to tell in the future what's going to happen with them," says Martin.
But its good to see that our conservation efforts are putting them in the right direction.