Sea turtles nesting at healthy rate on Georgia beaches

July 12, 2020 GMT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Rare loggerhead sea turtles are nesting in healthy numbers this year on Georgia beaches.

More than 2,200 loggerhead nests have been counted along the state’s 100-mile coast since the nesting season began in May, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources reported. Wildlife biologist Mark Dodd, who heads the agency’s sea turtle recovery program, said he expects Georgia’s will end up counting about 2,800 nests when the season wraps up at the end of August.

That means Georgia won’t likely break its record of more than 3,900 loggerhead nests recorded last year. But Dodd told the Savannah Morning News the final 2020 number should meet the threshold the state considers on track for the species’ recovery.

Loggerhead sea turtles crawl ashore each spring and summer to lay their eggs on beaches from Florida to the Carolinas. They are protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.