Fish and Wildlife Service Turtle Relocation from Florida Panhandle

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Lorna Patrick, Biologist:
Loggerhead sea turtles lay about 700 nests every year in the Florida Panhandle.

We are relocating them in response to the oil spill.

When we relocate the eggs, we must very gently excavate themso we maintain the correct orientation of the eggs as they naturally occur in the nests.

Okay, and when I put him down, I need you to just kind of hold him until I pick up the next one just to kind of keep him in place.


We pack the eggs in the boxes to simulate their natural environment using native sands from the beach, and we stack the eggs so that they touch each other.

What you're going to do is you're going to put it all the way in about to here and then we're going to put…

To ensure we maintain the correct temperature during the holding of the nest, we insert temperature probes in the boxes.

The probes stay in the boxes until the nest hatches.

After the eggs are excavated and placed into nest boxes, they are transported by tractor trailer to the Kennedy Space Center where they are monitored until they hatch.

They are then released on Atlantic Coast beaches.

This rescue effort is made possible by volunteers like the Friends of St. Joe Buffer Preserve.

FedEx has donated the transportation of all the sea turtle nests from the West to East Coast of Florida.

As of early August, we have relocated 176 nests from the Florida Panhandle.

That's over 20,000 eggs.

The hatchlings from these eggs have a greater chance of survival than leaving them to swim out into potentially oiled waters.

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Last edited 4/25/2016