TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida wildlife officials are reporting a record number of green sea turtle nests.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists said Wednesday that more than 25,000 green sea turtle nests were counted on 26 state beaches this year.
That's more than twice the previous record. Commissioner researcher Blair Witherington says it "looks like years of conservation efforts for this endangered species are paying off."
The commission has been monitoring sea turtle nests on specific "index beaches" spanning nearly 250 miles since 1989. That year, only 464 green sea turtle nests were documented.
Researchers say leatherback sea turtle nests also have risen dramatically since 1989. However, the tally for leatherback nests this year is lower than 2012's total. The number of loggerhead sea turtle nests also is down from last year.