This weekend we successfully conducted turtle walks on Friday and Saturday night and while we didn't get to show the group a turtle on Friday night (more on that below), we had a great group of people join us both nights and we were able to use our night vision to successfully spot turtles in complete darkness (see picture).
The main reason we do turtle walks is to show the public a nesting female without them going out on the beach and potentially spooking them. Because this is a state permitted activity we have to abide by the state and federal permit guidelines, which do not allow us to show the public a green turtle, only loggerheads. Why not? Green turtles are listed as endangered, while loggerheads are listed as threatened. While that is still a fact, there are signs that green turtle populations are coming back in Florida and it appears this year will be another big nesting year for the species. On Friday night we saw 7 turtles on the beach and they were all green turtles. Although some of them false crawled and there are good reasons why green turtles do not make the best performers to watch nesting (email us and we'll give you a laundry list), we hope there will come a day when FWC will allow biologists to show the public nesting green turtles. At this point, the only people on the beach not watching green turtles are those trying to do the right thing by signing up for a turtle walk. We salute you!