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Florida: In Search of Nesting Sea Turtles
Sponsored by Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Thu, May 31, 2012 - Tue, Jun 05, 2012
Location: Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, South Wellfleet
Instructor: Amy Fleischer - Education Director at Mass Audubonís Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Members: Adult $1435.00
Nonmembers: Adult $1500.00
Every summer, female sea turtles emerge from the ocean to lay their eggs on the beach. The east and west coasts of southern Florida are popular nesting sites for green, loggerhead, and leatherback sea turtles. Join us on an incredible educational journey to South Florida to search for nesting sea turtles and meet the scientists that protect these endangered and threatened species.
- 4 nights of nesting sea turtle beach patrol (1 on the West Coast and 3 on the East Coast)
- 2 mornings of searching for turtle crawls and nest sites (1 on the West Coast and 1 on the East Coast)
- Guided tours and talks by scientists at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida Oceanographic Institution in Stuart, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, both in Naples
- Bird and marine wildlife viewing from a pontoon boat tour of the Indian River lagoon, including a trip to Bird Island, one of the top ten rookeries in Florida
- Private buggy and boardwalk tour of National Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
$1435 M/ $1500 NM (single supplements apply); airfare to and from West Palm Beach, FL not included.
Registration deadline: May 1, space is limited. Please contact the sanctuary for more information, registration details, and a complete itinerary.
Sea turtles are solitary, ocean-faring creatures. Only the females return to land. Late in the evening, they crawl up on the beach, use their back flippers to dig a hole in the sand, and deposit their eggs into their nest. They bury the eggs under a layer of sand, and crawl back to the ocean. They'll return to the same beach year after year to make new nests, but they will never meet their young. On four nights of our trip we'll walk the beaches to view sea turtles laying their eggs, and on two mornings, we'll examine the beaches for signs that sea turtles have nested. We'll learn to determine the species of a sea turtle nest by the tracks they make in the sand.
During our trip, we'll be working with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida Oceanographic Institution in Stuart, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, both in Naples - all of which have a role in protecting sea turtle nests, rescuing and rehabilitating injured or ill sea turtles, and promoting scientific study of sea turtles. We'll go on guided tours of their facilities, meet with their scientists, and enjoy their nature center exhibits and outdoor trails.
Florida is home to a diverse array of wildlife and habitats. From the comfort of a pontoon boat, we'll look for dolphins, manatees, and wading bird in the Indian River Lagoon, and visit Bird Island, one of the top ten rookeries in Florida. We'll also enjoy a guided boardwalk tour and private buggy ride at National Audubon Society's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a 14,000 acre preserve that is home to the largest remaining virgin Bald Cypress stand in North America, the ghost orchid, and the Living Machine, a model of sustainable waste water treatment.
Registration is required.
Program already started.
For your own security, DO NOT send credit card information via email.
For more information, contact:
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
P.O. Box 236, State Highway Rte. 6
South Wellfleet, MA 02663